Nathan's Laserium: Robot's Cove

Ten years ago today I got married to Michelle! Yay for us! To celebrate we are heading off to Jamaica. So I will be absent from these parts for a couple of weeks. Thought I would leave you some archival footage from my honeymoon. We went to the Atlantic provinces, flying into Nova Scotia then driving the breathtaking Cabot Trail before taking the ferry over to Newfoundland then eventually back over to Nova Scotia and across to New Brunswick then ending in Prince Edward Island. Good trip!

This poem is a direct result of driving around Cape Breton Island, seeing the giant wind turbines by the coast, listening to the Gorillaz' (and Dennis Hopper's) "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head", and mulling over Dan Simmons' Ilium, a curious tale about the Trojan War on Mars, among other things. And if this reminds you of the Iron Giant, that's okay, too. Stuff written on one's honeymoon need not be very original or amazing, as long as it's about robots.

Robot's Cove

At the edge of the world

where green grass meets blue sea

a lighthouse stands

where it has kept vigil

for over a century

guiding ships safely

past the rocks


Then one day

with a sea storm's suddenness

a giant black robot

over a hundred feet tall

and not quite humanoid

descended from space

and landed

next to the lighthouse


The residents of the sleepy little cove

watched with apprehension

and wariness

waiting for the strange thing

to do something


probably devour them all

but all it did

was incline its head

toward the heavens


Slowly they overcame their fear

and approached the black shell

the robot didn't devour anyone

it didn't react at all

the braver boys discovered

that it made a hollow clanging sound

when you hit it with a rock

and the girls drew on it with chalk


Inevitably the government came

and so did the tourists

while the residents went about their lives

some of them got jobs as tour guides

in the Robot Interpretive Center

all the while

the lighthouse stood guard

and the robot didn't move

though sometimes its eyes glowed

different colors


The government and all its

secret organizations

could not discover the robot's origins

though there were lots of books

with all kinds of

conspiracy theories

and crackpot hypotheses

sparking endless debate

and boredom

while the robot stood tall

next to the lighthouse


Many years later

with no warning

the robot flew away

leaving the lighthouse behind

where it remained impassive

searching the seas for ships in distress

while the citizens scanned the skies

to no avail

so they returned to their lives

in their sleepy little village

now devoid of government and tourists

and they renamed it

Robot's Cove

(Originally Posted 21st July 2005)


Special bonus feature: here is an artist’s rendering I commissioned back in the day

- Nathan Waddell