Slower

I choose a minutes slower
route within Google Maps

Such a lottery takes us longer
as we drive through mid-Sussex

Huge delays are common here –
because J.Deere tractors blast

along summer’s uncut lanes –
that narrowing of back roads –

fuming in their camouflage
of brand green and yellow –

ploughing dead straight –
making cars meet hedgerows

We hit dry spittles of sunlight
under jiggered shadows –

Here old wapple ways
are low to fields – almost-gorges

hoofed out by tramped centuries
of stick-herded stock

Where canopies intersect overhead
as prayer-grabbing fingers lock

to make summertime rooflines
under which we drive in instant night –

swooped – whilst our confines
of air-conditioning and auto-beams

make us – modern travellers – immune
to such a cool pleasure as shade

Four Years

Five-zero-three-fifteen –
my DX anniversary
of a ‘phone consultation
upon basal nigra’s role
in my slow-witted downfall
and other explanations
that Google had offered
over the previous few
years of not-knowing
how many search results
were not sponsored
by quacks and sawbones –
Now it is uneasy sleep
and dreams of running
which keep me turning up
to this annual event


The Word for ‘Search’

This abstruse epoch of endless information
is a virulent strew of ingrowing metadata –
It is thrown wide like blindly hurled seeds

We have set the volume to unheard of levels
and whine about the pain as the cooled servers
draw enough kilojoules to run a billion light bulbs

This is our second flood – set to lift much higher –
an oily risen tide upon remote isles – floating nodes
litter the no longer habitable low lying atolls –

those last places wired into free knowledge –
they are being removed by our unedifying worship
of the lords of the clouds – those five fat silos

And when we have drawn the last of the gold –
the silica – the bauxite and life from this place
we will no longer have any word for ‘search’

OK Google

“OK Google,”
please turn off,
you know too much
’bout my choices in life;
what I looked at,
for how long,
it’s a dead-end relationship,
your snooping is done.

If I need a map,
I’ll A to Z,
navigate my life
with no traces left;
I’ll use a brick phone,
and Duck Duck Go,
then avoid Facebook,
or just stay at home.