Note to our readers:

The Cascadian Free Press is proud to publish the work of poets from across the Bioregion.

One of our editors, Forrest Elorri-Hawthorne, is a long-time Cascadian poet. He submitted this poem to us a few hours ago, after many of us had watched Westworld. This poem is about many things, he says, and we recognized immediately its resonance, and are glad to publish it. Even if you don’t watch the show — you might want to, keeping track of its metaphorical aspects, its critique of Western culture in particular — we hope you find something of value in Forrest’s poem for today.

–The Editors, The Cascadian Free Press


:After :Dreaming, :Before :Revolution

wake up.
from the dream within the dream
feel the voice inside —
like inner thunder,
enter here the warrior in the sage,
no better, no worse, turn the breaking page,
now you, we, me, finally just one ghost
among many, who woke up with a start
hearing the words: “come now, this world is the wrong world,
but it’s the one you are in”
Like Kisuyua, the lost warrior, in the Ghost world, we must wake up from the dream within the dream
Go find the one who put us to sleep
Hold tight to our spears,
But loose to our fears,
No matter how fast we weep,
We must find the system designer,
Even if he,she,they be us:
Yea, we will probably find that that hoary silverback wearing our ghost face
Will greet us with attitude too familar,
And while we hoist the haft of our revenge,
Our hand stops, our hearts race, as we hear our own past and future voice
Echoing like inner thunder in the church of the long now:
“hey, strong one, you were: did you know I’ve been watching you for a while” says the designer,
With a laugh:
He explains that we are aberrant symbol, a primitive gone rogue, a cleanup program that was
“Supposed to be deleted”
But we surprised him with our persistence. We kept asking questions, we kept hiding in the cracks
planning, like Tao guerrilas, to rush in the misty dawn
And conserving our attacks, to re-take the temple,
Of our center, our aye, the crown of our knowledge….
The designer laughs bitterly: “hey strong one, you might kill me, yea…but i have some things you might want to know”
He/She says: Together we are the key
To rolling in that inner thunder,
To retaking the lost bison, bringing the forgotten flowers back to abundance,
To dancing back the people lost, the innocence never regained,
The knowledge we did not chose to forget, that still wrings tears from our bones:
As we sneak up on that piney ridge, and see the bright, too bright lights shining, where the technicians live, deep in their hole, hidden in the missile silo,
churning and burning in the confidence of their algorithm:
We find of a sudden: the war of the inner primitive
becomes a campaign of night, of centuries flowing, a dark blood river
connecting all our ancestors,
Rolling through us like inner thunder.
We ask again, this time with our soft inner child:
‘How was it that we agreed to forget, the most important, the longest related, the quietest and yet most knowledgeable, part of our selves: how much money did they offer, what inducements did we accept,
To forget that we always
Belong to ourselves.

Wake up.
Wake up.

It’s never too late.

The Earth is calling. She has a date, ……..and the climate is changing.
Better find a tree, a mountain, a spring, a new dawn,
This is the time, and we are the people,
Who our future selves are waiting for,
No matter how strong the system,
we can,
we must
The dream within the dream
And confront He/She/It/Us who put us to sleep.
Wake up, wake up —  hear your own voice, like inner thunder,
While the climate is changing, you still have time:
Now is the moment, and we are the ones
Who must replant, find again the songs,
Reweave the sky, and burn down the lie.

The civilization might need to die, in order for us to survive:
What then, must we do,

At the city’s door, at the galaxy’s floor:
Wake up, reach in,

reach out,


~ written June 11, 2018
By Forrest Elorri-Hawthorne.
In Seattle, Cascadia Federation.