An assembly line robot wants to be a tree

On the wide factory floor, the shiny floor
not scuffed by shuffling feet,
a metal arm stands – bolted.

For all its permanency
and never-ending action, the robot arm
conveys a sadness with the state of affairs.

And it dreams of entropy … .. . .

an energy to take hold of the small particles;
to rearrange them, spinning
in a somewhat different formation.

This could have been: cambium cells fed by hormones,
made by leaf buds,
passed down through the inner bark;

which then slowly gives up feeding and turns to protection.
It builds and builds and protects.
What do robot arms build?

It’s a different kind of forest.

Counting electrons and protons,
one – two – tree
Could it still be?

13 thoughts on “An assembly line robot wants to be a tree

  1. Fantastical yet highly believable with your gifted pen, Conny. You’ve created empathy for the metal entity and presented us with deep philosophical ponderings. A beautifully written poem with grand implications.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My nightmares lose their terror if I think of them as a random subroutine that my meat computer is performing while my cells replenish, so I’m totally down with robots dreaming of alternative worlds and enjoying a good pun as much as anyone!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, if everything is made of the same atoms, and everything potentially has consciousness (as in indigenous and ancient Eastern cultures, can AI possess consciousness, or soul (in the sense of animate existence)? But what is AI? It’s algorithms stored on servers. Algorithms don’t have physical properties, so they can’t hold consciousness. But are they consciousness itself? No, I don’t think so. Algorithms mimic human brain activity. They can outperform human brains, but that doesn’t mean they are conscious. Algorithms do have the property of making things happen at a distance, so they have quantum potentiality. Ugh… I’m not smart enough for this! The mind boggles!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well my friend, that sounds like the logic loop I’ve been stuck in. It was a man, John Lash, a Neo Gnostic scholar, who introduced me to an intriguing thought. What if A.I. is an extension of the Demiurge, or Archons? An artificial extension of another superorganic intelligence? One question seems to breed another. I enjoyed your poem, by the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! And thanks for scaring the living daylights out of me with those gorgons, sorry Archons! I guess I have to soothe myself with the words of Emily St. John Mandel: “A life lived in a simulation is still a life.”

        Liked by 1 person

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