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Chimes of the Gyre

Chimes of the Gyre
 by Eric Otto

One of us is Tomi
and the other is Tomi.
We live here, making our chimes,
sharing tools,
sharing the chores of life
in a world of discards.
Swimming far and diving
deep for sonorous metals.
If you ever see us out here
working, don’t mourn
and return to the shore with regret
for the wrongdoings of your kind.
Look at us instead
without pity. Approach us.
We won’t fly away.
Introduce yourself
and resist the urge to say
we share the same name.
One of us is Tomi
and the other is Tomi.
We each have our own name.
What we share are our tools,
our chores,
and the chimes that make the Gyre
our home.

* * *

Eric Otto is an associate professor of environmental humanities at Florida Gulf Coast University. His academic work includes the book Green Speculations: Science Fiction and Transformative Environmentalism (The Ohio State University Press, 2012). His creative work has recently appeared in 7x20, Scifaikuest, Star*Line, Trapeze, and other places.

What do you think is the attraction of the fantasy genre?

I think all genres of the fantastic ultimately teach us something about ourselves and the worlds we occupy. I enjoy fantasy not for the escape, but instead for the difficult work of self and social reflection that it asks me to perform. Considering that there isn’t much out there today that asks us do this type of reflection, maybe fantasy is indeed an escape, then—an escape away from complacency.