The fierce crack crunch as you
break through the crisp crust
to the softer snow beneath.
Bushes grown to amorphous,
looming clouds, grounded;
Two snowmen stand
at duelling distance, shapeless heads
quizzically tilted; physically
there, but empty of life.
Snow golems waiting to melt,
their role fulfilled
in the building.
I’m chatting on the Internet
to someone I don’t really know and
I want to appear witty, clever;
We talk about the cinema. I search
my brain for cool films I’ve seen;
none of that trash we used to watch
on Sunday afternoons.
I mention a film – the first moving picture;
The Train? I’m trying to describe my thoughts
when I first saw a 3D film,
in an unusual and interesting way.
I compare myself to that terrified audience
that ran screaming from the café
thinking they were being run down!
Before I click, a quick check on Wikipedia
and I find it didn’t happen, not like that.
It’s an urban myth (of sorts). So now
I have to rewrite what I’ve said.
I click through lumiere and light and
a technical school with fish; those brave
heraldic symbols – signifying what?
My nimble fingers click and click and click
I am swept away by an information tsunami;
clinging to clickable links to find my way back
And when I return at last
to my original comment
in another forum, on another tab
I forget where I started and see that
in the time that I was diving;
catching facts with my tiny, white arrow
the person I was dazzling with my
Web-found instant wisdom
Has said brb, got bored and gone offline.
Listening to the Radio Four News the other afternoon, on the way home, I heard that scientists in California have been able to create two new genetic ‘letters’ to add to the existing four letter genetic alphabet with which we are all constructed. They have introduced an additional, entirely man-made, base pair – made up of two letters that did not previously exist – into an E. coli bacteria and have been able to replicate it. You can read more about this here and here. This is probably the most terrifying thing I have heard on the news in a long time. This is my response. The quote, incidentally, is more or less accurate.
You tinker and you tamper
with the stuff of your existence.
Sense and ethics will not hamper
you; ignoring all resistance
from those who look ahead
with fear and at your work
with sensible amounts of dread,
you play with code and add new pairs;
new genomes, not designed by God
but man, with all his limitations
including overweening pride;
you will not – shall not – be denied.
You shake your head and smile, amused
“No – Nature will not ‘find a way’ –
our new base pair cannot survive
outside this lab; it’s not
Jurassic Park,” you say, and laugh. So blind,
You do not see God’s face behind, not angry;
kind and sad. He gave us Earth, a gift
in token of his perfect love and you,
like all small boys on Christmas Day
will play with your new toy too carelessly
and cry when it is broken.
You’ll stamp your feet, all unaware
that the Word was God, but the words
you’ve added are your own
and cannot be unspoken.
You are not Gods.
You shadow me through days;
I see your eyes in random faces
on strange shoulders;
glimpses of you, eclipsed
by unknown features; younger,
older, when I look again.
I stand for a moment, forlorn;
each time draws me back
to mourn you again and miss
for a while your slow, still
smile and quiet kiss; it comes
in waves, breaking on the scar
of old loss – waking sharp
pain in my heart; usually
long gone, these days.
Like any fool, on April first
I undertook an Herculean
task that would potentially
be worse than I expected.
I started off enthused with smiles,
believing it would be a breeze;
a poem a day for just a while
more followers, projected!
By mid-month I was struggling
with new creations every day.
With work (full pelt) and daughter
home, just juggling all was crazy!
I made it though with time to spare
and poems just enough to last;
my highlight was when Riverford
shared Ode to Grass – amazing!
I want to thank NaPoWriMo
for the challenge of this April jaunt
I’ve been inspired and will go
on until my typing finger’s gaunt!
From thirty one to one-two-four
my followers have daily climbed.
Many of you have plenty more
But for me, that’s really pretty fine!
So here it is, my final piece:
a silly (lazy?) nonsense rhyme
to say farewell, I’ve loved it
and please do come back some time!
A quiet house.
My daughter has gone again;
student life resumed.
Lisa and Jim live at the pub.
Jim is a man’s man, but
Lisa does all the kicking out
of drunken louts, when necessary.
None of the regulars will cross her.
Her strong arms pull pints and
punters in – they love her
and at Christmas, buy her sherry.
Jim has his own stool at the bar.
If a new customer sits there, unaware,
he’ll be in a mood, all night,
but he won’t say why, right?
On other nights, Jim holds court
from his corner stool, discussing
grim-faced the latest city scores
with the boys, or laughing,
winding Izzy up behind the bar
with jokes, as she spins, busy
drawing pints of ale and winning
smiles; she knows all the locals’
tales and wiles.
Lisa loves Norwich City; football mad;
they go to every game – often
a bad let-down now, but all the same…
Just don’t speak to them on days
when Norwich lose.
They get the football blues
In a bad way.