Old Devices

We’d race to get the telephone –
stating our number as rote taught –
our mother in her poshest voice
but rough for sister talk

Relative news transmissions –
but not intended to be heard –
I knew nothing of kindred facts
’til I stole truth from her words

We were ignorant between acts –
maybe flattening an irksome book –
we’d stare through the yellowed nets
whilst half-tuned to loosened talk

We tugged at the reluctant drawers
where our history was lost and found –
there tucked between old table mats –
sepia smiles were loosely bound

News bulletins marked the hours
or were shoved through the letterbox –
that narrow window on the world –
ink fears of the Eastern bloc

Ignorance was a short-lived bliss
in those disconnected times –
no algorithms on our wrists
to redress the truths and lies

The Surveyor, Online

Her screen offerings, in selfless forms,
adorned or bared, her shared allure:

Of course he prefers her nakedness,
which so shames his own rucked flesh:

There is a distance he has yet to guess,
her stretched out form on his bed, undressed:

Would she lie for him, tongue and back,
to provide his review an easy abstract?

No longer there, mere pleasant thoughts,
to move from such, no more besought.

F5

‘The years teach much which the days never know.’
Ralph Emerson

Half a century has passed,
of my oblivious education:

Valves glowed behind Bakelite,
those wireless invocations,

mail was flap-rattled –
some bore oddity stamps,

wearing cent-priced strangers,
sent from inky confidantes.

My search was inherited,
in spine-bust encyclopaedias:

I learnt the word ‘concentric’,
and skipped the Roman Empire.

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.