In praise of email

The art of writing letters to us now seems to be lost.
In part due to the postal strikes, and also to the cost.
For stamps are hard to come by, and envelopes expensive
And as we know delivery at times can be extensive.
Instead we have a new thing, an electronic toy.
So we can keep in touch despite the obstacles ahoy.
But somehow through the changes, our language has evolved.
Now we don’t spell our words out, but only write in code.
So now ‘I’ll c u l8r’, we often read out loud
Since spelling became optional, secrecy’s not allowed.
Thus I know all your business, even on the train,
In order to get the message, we need to make it plain.
Tis not the done thing these days to refuse an invitation.
By the time you’ve writ ‘washing my hair’, the train has left the station.

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Comms…

I wish I were a telephone
I’d ring all night and day.
Could listen in on conversations
Hear what people say.
I’d never have to worry
When the quarter rolled around
My owner’d have to pay the bill
While I slept safe and sound.
Perhaps I’d be a portable –
The kind without a cord.
That way they’d take me with them
So I’d get to see the world.
Or maybe one where earpiece and
The mouthpiece can be split
Then I could wave at him
Whenever chat went on a bit.
Yes, all in all I reckon that
To be a phone’d be fun.
To spread the word from coast to coast,
Let mother reach her son.
But in this daily climate with
The cost of calls a-rise.
I worry that soon people will
Talk only with their eyes.

On the eve of it all

Surrounded by the spoils of men, milling, swirling, competing for attention, wanting for nothing, yet craving every piece of trash that passes by. We live in a desolate age, where pile upon pile of fancy packaging coats our conscience, wraps our brains and seals the deal with a loving spritz of forget-me. How I long for simple rivalry, without the harsh clamour, wish the humdrum, mono-not-chrome existence to once again hold sway. I pray for need, I beg for demand, rather than the overabundance of what is supplied to those without such a borderline. Edgy, a fringe movement hanging on the silk of their own party dress and swaying gently in the consumptive breeze. I could live in a world of lithographic memories, brown and fuzzy, dog-eared and beautiful in its imperfection. Order amid the chaos of life without pixels. A stream of unconscious thought, growing to a river, and crashing down the butter-mountain, swallowing up all those in its path.

Golden Brown

Golden shadows of my past continue to haunt me. I pass corners of streets I remember as filthy, rat-ridden, miserable, and a ray of light suddenly illuminates a memory with a clarity that hits my gut. Forceful as a bolt of chili, straight to the heartburn.

In the everyday I am alone. I am mechanical, stiff, lifeless. I miss these ghostly shadows. Fleeting, they are gone, leaving a strange hollowness. This vacuum of feeling, empty, void. No longer relevant. I shake myself and go on with life. Passing occasionally to cross the road and wonder at changes I see. Proof that life goes on.

And the gold-dusty haze of memory settles on the flat screen of my life. I see things in monochrome, shades of brown and orange. As if through a sheet of bathroom-school-pane glass, everything looks mottled, grainy. And somehow more significant to my story than the things I can touch and smell and taste today in harsh and vivid colour.

Di A(na) Bolique

What are we to do these days?
Eating is our latest craze.
People suffer dreadful guilt
Over sustenance they’ve spilt.
Yet food is not in short supply
So I don’t understand the why:
Some stuff their faces, comforting
While others starve just to stay thin!
No, I just cannot fathom it
Such depth of feeling over shit.
Where once we ate to stay alive,
Fed our bodies to survive;
Now boutique-style, we pick and choose
And body-mass we vow to lose.
Each New Years Eve that comes and goes,
We weigh ourselves and try on clothes
To chart our progress over time
And wail about our new waistline.
I’ll never get the reason why
Some choose to eat and some to die.

Mother

A beacon in whom we all believe, shining there above and below us. Gentle calloused hands stirring the waters, the well. Fountain of my youth and mirror of my dotage.

Veins standing proud, swelled with age, pride, scientific mysticism… chemicals. Inscrutable lines mark the outward planes, invisible chasms mar the landscape within. Danger lurks there.

Inevitably we shall all succumb and return to what we always sought to find. Back to the womb. But the inner comfort and security of those walls has given way to an external terror.

And the prodigal becomes the fruitful. Plenty springs from what was barren desert, and the circle begins once more.

The low down dirty old Underground blues

Why do we at break of day
Brace ourselves to plow the fray?
Surely Britons ain’t forgot
That queueing is our national sport?

Daily, though, I feel the thrill
Of elbows meeting ribs until
Inside and out, I’m black and blue
And panting and perspiring too.

There must be a better way
For me to get to work today,
But tube is quicker, you retort
We like to keep our journeys short!

Yet overcrowding and delays
Especially on ‘weather’ days
Are making this commuter frown
Each time she travels into town.

A comedy of manners

Descending t’ward the depths of what
In London passes for transport,
Oft do I ignore the thrust
Of passengers, who, in their lust
To reach their desks and start each day
Do trample others ‘midst the fray.

Once upon a youthful day
I, purposeful, would elbow through
But lately I step out the way
To give more room to those who do.
And easing, thus, their passage by
This courtesy, I rarely spy
A shifting glance, infrequent too, of
Gratitude for what I do.

Redemption

I gave to you what you needed
At a time your need was great.
I promised you such sweetness
To wipe away all hate.

I willingly, not blindly
Devoted time and care.
And gifted you with hope for us
And things we both could share.

A kiss may mean a promise
A bargain there was met
I’ll honour it in fullness
But still I shan’t forget.

I took you on my journey
I helped you find your way.
I guided you through life when
Darkness was leading you astray.

And yet you do not see me
Do not know my name
For you were my redemption
And honour was the game.

And now the journey’s over
And you strong as before.
Yet my quest has not ended.
I must go on once more.

I’ll leave you now in sunlight
With gifts for you to give
I wish you well, but I must go
Another life to live.

I’ll kiss you as in parting
And point you on your way
Though you may fear your heart will break
Your strength will show today.

The kiss I gave, a bargain.
I did what I could do.
I now must travel my own path,
The rest is up to you.