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The Fortune Teller


The Fortune Teller
by J. S. Watts

Welcome to you. Come in.
I know what you want, of course,
the telling of the future, the naming of names.
Wouldn’t you rather I unwrapped your fortune?
There is a difference, you see
and for you what I see is blue skies
criss-crossed with trails of bright silver
for the which, I thank you.

Blue skies, I said, threaded with boundless birds
flying with heaven under their wings,
the clouds puffed with light
and the sun rising proud and yellow,
later to set glorious in gold.
Even at night, where others display darkness,
I see deep midnight blue, set with diamonds.
A good fortune, a lucky one.

So why, then, do you still yearn for the future?
It’s old before its beginning.
Your fortune is now.
That’s your luck, your well-spring
and it runs deep.
Future flows too far away
to show depth or dimension.
It comes after, life times after for you or me.

I don’t go there, even for silver.
The future’s not ours. Let it go.
You want to know why?
Yes, I have seen the future
and there’s a blankness there,
a darker shade of oblivion,
an absence of us all.
It’s an emptiness that stares straight into you.

The future is beyond us
and by the time it arrives
we will have gone into that dark,
blacker than the night,
as if we never were.
Soar on the sky-wide promise of your fortune
and leave the future well alone.
There’s nothing there for you.

* * *

J.S.Watts is a British writer. Her poems and short stories appear in a diversity of magazines. She has published two poetry books, Cats and Other Myths and Songs of Steelyard Sue (Lapwing Publications), and two novels, A Darker Moon and Witchlight (Vagabondage Press). A new poetry collection, Years Ago You Coloured Me, is due out from Lapwing Publications in 2016. See www.jswatts.co.uk.

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

For me, it’s the attraction of the totally blank sheet of paper on which I can record anything I can imagine or fantasize about. Basically, I guess, it’s freedom.

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