About this site

Welcome to CyberStanza, a poetry site with a  focus on living & learning in a technocentric world. CyberStanza poetry will address both the positive and negative influences, or impacts, of technologies on human behaviour as well as on the environment we live in. Technology encompasses quite a broad canvas of possible topics, e.g. cyber or digital technologies, modes of transport, and our energy sources. If you would like to participate please see the Submissions & Philosophy page.

Twitter: @cyberstanza
Web: cyberstanza.org or cyberstanza.com

Fake News

Fake News comes the Trumpet call
The faithful hear, they are in thrall
Wield Fake News to smite them down
For He now wears the media crown
Apprentice star emits searing light
Troublesome truths now burning bright
Only He could fix all that was wrong
For His people need a leader strong
So Russian Bear now declared no thug
Ursine brothers now embrace and hug.

And it’s Id and Ego who must be hired
While the unbelievers must be fired
Let ‘Art of the Deal’ the people inspire
By spectral author not the artful liar
Fake News press ‘enemy number one’
For they frustrate what must be done
Fake News is what His people hears
So filter messages and close their ears
No briefings here for the media club
He will forge his own fortress hub.

Like like some dark lord in his Tower
From stormy skies He builds his power
Summons lightning bolts to make a hit
On all those ‘others’ who just don’t fit
But yet it was He that took the prize
As mainstream media cast their eyes
On the actors playing by older rules
Rejecting He from different schools
And so Fake News plays useful part
A fearsome weapon for spinner’s art.

So ‘wrong’ truths to false become recast
Impervious armour against enemy blast
For He knows how to ‘drain the swamp’
Assault their truths, proclaim His pomp
Globalisation’s losers new Lords seek
For the ‘deplorables’ see a future bleak
And an ‘elite’ class sneering in contempt
Until ‘deplorables’ let their anger vent
Only their Apprentice star felt their pain
From declining futures of excluded gain.

So new narratives found receptive ears
Post Truth prescriptions to allay all fears
The Fox now shaping the Trumpet notes
Sound Spicy tweets to reach His votes
By claiming conspiracies by the score
That need rooting out from the core
Defining new enemies of the State
Let Him remake the country great
Fake News comes the Trumpet call
The faithful heard, He has the ball. Continue reading

In the Hall of the Troll Kings

Troll Kings now ride the wave
New prophets, the world to save
Deadly weapons they now wield
Vicious words seed virtual-field
Fracking anxieties and discontents
Fuelling egos, exploiting vents
Thought leaders of the virtual age
Putative masters of creating rage
Recruiters for intellectual bubbles
Silo builders for shared troubles.

So grains of sand can feel like rocks
And tiny birds pretend they’re hawks
So setting out to make their kill
While claiming it is the people’s will
Their message is, ‘destroy the nest’
For only they know know what is best
And in their silos the people hear
Because their world is full of fear.

Farage tapped the English soul
Claiming out was his only goal
Cameron fell and so left the stage
Stoking fires of increasing rage
Then Boris made his leader grab
But was felled by Gove’s Brutus stab
Arise the saviour Come What May
Out means out” was all she’d say.

Because Ed had left his brothers’ Band
His Stone of Promises failed to stand
So Comrade Corbyn had come to pass
Minor Troll King of the working class
His disciples dug a deep deep moat
On which to launch their leaky boat
To hold a Party for times gone by
Only true believers need apply
Comrade Corbyn denied the link
He as Captain would make it sink
Come What May had gold struck
She just could not believe her luck
How all the stars could so align
Surely this was a sacred sign.

But now, even bigger kites would fly
Enter true Grand Masters of the virtual lie.

Apprentice seducer makes Trumpet call
Roaring promises of a mighty wall
Keep them out became his war cry
Push them out meant his lesser fry
Irradiating patriotism until mutations form
So cancerous nationalism becomes the norm
And in its magnetic lies and hyperbole
Attractive solutions to set them free
Spawned post-truths that did so resonate
Bypassing any intellectual gate
Mind antibodies readied to deploy
Nascent dissonance to destroy.

Putin could so rub his hands with glee
As such Trumpet notes were his key
His virtual missiles now had the range
For targeting insecurities of global change
Anxieties and prejudices that lay beneath
Were nudged now into sharp relief
So Clinton fell and she was no more
As Trumpet blasted through the door
And so the Troll Kings to their surprise
Found they had won their mighty prize.

Meanwhile, on East Asia’s stage
An angry Troll King paced his cage
For half-brother love he had none
So he knew what must now be done
So Kim Jong-nam met sticky end
Flyers’ VX face-cream now latest trend
For projecting power and striking fear
Into non-believers in leaders dear.

And in Europe too, things look tough
As motley prophets strut and puff
Promising Utopias by going alone
As long as they ascend the throne
Keep them out is their war cry
Push them out means lesser fry
But making ‘the other’ disappear
Removes how Troll Kings focus fear
And then new villains must be found
Enemy of the People become Trumpet sound.

But such Troll Kings don’t exist to lead
For it’s ego furnaces that drive their need
Populist woodlands must now provide the fuel
Where such wolves feed and dribble drool
The populus however will prove fickle food
For the Troll Kings have so misunderstood
That true leaders always put others first
Discarding approbation to slake ego’s thirst.

Half Life

by Derek Morrison

Half truth, post-truths, across the internet they fly
Echo chambers for believers, amplifying the lie
Opinion flooding cyber-fields promoted now as news
Reinforcing prejudices, seeds malignant views
Promoting instability and disorder, seeking pandemonium
Injected into virtual-space, with the half-life of plutonium.

Being strange

by Derek Morrison

They label me strange and not much fun
But as a problem-solver I’m number one
Their obsessive sociability I can’t understand
With no attention to detail, they never expand
They are so easily distracted,  they make no gain
And their lack of routine I just can’t explain –
Yet they label me strange, and so cause much pain.

Born with a brain-filter tuned really high
Excluding irrelevancies, so precision can fly
While my inner world is not a bad place
But others have needs that I share this space
So they come knocking, must join the crack
Must play their games, be one of the pack –
Yet my brain is wired for a different track.

My need to focus and perceived lack of tact
Obsession with routines, details, and fact
And nuance and irony simply pass me by
So ‘aloof’, or ‘arrogant’ becomes the common cry
Lack of sociability can make me appear rude
And absence of guile makes me sans shrewd –
Plenty of scope then to miss what is good.

They label me strange, yet now seek to be me
Eyes glued to shiny screens –  it’s all that they see
Headphones in ears and gaze fixed down
Thresh in Twitter-waters, trying not to drown
No crying baby, no outer-space must distract
Social skills degrading as sliding fingers act –
Training for autism, embracing Devil’s Pact.

Seeking re-tweets or to collect lots of ‘friends’
Feeding the stormy churn of latest trends
More comforting than the world outside
Status proclaimed, boasting gadget pride
But in connected isolation they are not like me
Constantly distracted, they are far from free –
Strangeness indeed in humanities’ new sea.

Background & Commentary Continue reading

e-Constipation@Gatwick

by Derek Morrison

Journey over, flight now landed
But suffering time now expanded
2 long queues at border control
Dampens the travel-weary soul
1 snaking line offers human touch
A seductive other, technology’s clutch
Gambling then on which is faster
Digital must surely be the master
Opting then for e-passport control
Down Alice’s Wonderland rabbit hole
The Mad Tea Party made more sense
Even the saintly were growing tense
As more passengers joined the crowd
Government posters declare they’re proud
But constipation struck the tortuous queue
Technology’s false profit[phet] making tempers stew
And the queue got longer.

The border officer with a rictus smile
Forced calm in voice; walks the aisle
“It’s really easy”; he demos the art
“Passport face downwards, show this part
Now step through the gate and face the glass
Facial recognition will let you pass”
But computer doesn’t know you, or is way too slow
Crowd grows more restless, no sense of flow
One poor innocent chap could not get out
Confusion on face, what’s this about?
“What’s the point of all this?” One woman protested
Filled with rage at tax millions invested
A functionary jotted some comments down
But auto-bureaucracy still wore the crown
And the queue got longer.

The officer gave up and guides some up the line
For real people to process which suited us fine
Meanwhile, the other queue had shrunk to nil
But at e-passport control? They are there still.

Commentary
Continue reading

Slaves

by Derek Morrison

Souls sucked through seductive screens
Connected to the matrix; sharing
But somehow not; communicating
In 140 characters or less
Over 1000 miles or; sending
Just 1 metre.

Self-worth; judging
From ‘likes’; by ‘friends’
Or is that strangers; providing
A brief heat, but no lasting light
From virtual Tinder
Encounter vending-machines; degrading
Courtship, intimacy, touch, and time.

Edited stories; scripting
Perfect worlds; portraying
Images: contriving
Onlookers; deceiving
And self; deluding
Projected idyllic lives; cloaking
Idyllic lies.

Twittering egos the Cloud; seeding
Silent yet strident prattle; creating
A cold polluting fog; obscuring
Metamorphoses as yet unseen
Digital disciples; surfing
Vast oceans of distraction; digesting
Small fragments only; drowning
Vestiges of reflection.

Power; amplifying
Or is that draining?
Vested interests; promoting
Privacy; denaturalising
Democracy; diluting

Efficiency; exaggerating
Empathy; eroding
Humanity; sculpting
Autistic slaves; serving
Intelligent machines; making
Stupid humans.

Souls sucked through seductive screens
In virtual space we hear no screams.

Commentary (work-in-progress) Continue reading

Victims

by Derek Morrison

Life not gone well
A need to blame
Any cause will do
Delusion of fame
Join virtual mob

To shout real loud
It’s never wrong
This wisdom of crowd
Gather with ‘friends’

Thought crime to seek
Insult and outrage
Primed ready to peak
Reputations drowned

Virtual tsunamis to ride
Crush protests of innocence
Leave nowhere to hide
Just a bit of re-tweeting

Is all that it takes
Amplifying echoes
Absence of  brakes
No smoke without fire

So guilt is assumed
Belief comes first
Truth is subsumed
Outraged of Twitter

Volume set loud
Prays for significance
But hide in the cloud
Punishment beatings

140 characters or less
Feel deviant power
Ramp up their stress
And micro-aggressions

A sign of our time
So challenging thinking
Risks becoming a crime
The Earth it is flat

And created in six
Challenge this ‘truth’
Face damnation by clicks
Feelings of grievance

Volcanoes in making
To ideology pushers
Ripe for the taking
Stream siren voices

Claim God’s grace
Cancerous memes
Infect virtual space
Life not gone well

But need to belong
A ready recruit
To dystopian throng
Publish your satire

Now they want you dead
Or in horror movies
To saw off your head
At virtual scaffolds

Baying mobs gather
Bread and circuses
From their cyber-father.

Commentary
Continue reading

Venus Fly Traps

by Derek Morrison

Many devices become a radio in these digital times
Now new platforms to watch all the world’s crimes
Online Venus-Fly-Traps proffering much choice
Inadequates and the evil now given amplified voice
No time to long read or to talk face-to-face
Eyes glued to a screen even as legs make the pace
As cyber wizards dream up yet more ways to connect
Distraction, distraction, drowning out how to reflect.

Smart dumbness

by Derek Morrison

A world of digital complexity
Where only experts can tune TV
Gullible swallowing of salesman’s art
A rush to devices with moniker ‘smart’
But like filament light bulbs of old
Rapid obsolescence we’re being sold
Because the smartness does degrade
Despite the high prices we have paid
Those smart devices by our side
Have software jigsaws deep inside
Comes a point of no app update
Smartness failing – so now contemplate
Not wise to fall under salesman’s thumb
Buy simpler devices – they’re better dumb.
Continue reading

Electric Car

by Derek Morrison

Waverley Electric Car
Advert for Waverley Electric Car in Saturday Evening Post 1910
Click to view larger image
I want to buy an electric car
But that won’t get me very far
Need Nissan Leaf for commutes
Tesla Model S for longer routes
So such purchases make no sense
For going green at great expense
Needs fast recharging stations
Easily found throughout the nations
And battery technology to mature
So in going further you can be sure
At destination you will always arrive
And not dependent on how you drive
But vested interest are at work
In the background they do lurk
Much investment in fossil fuel
Oils the wheels of existing rule
Remember electric cars are not new
When you take the longer view
Combustion engines they came later
But energy stored was much greater
For that fuel in the tank
Is such a simple energy bank
Taking single minutes to restore
No plug in wait, no kids to bore
But fossil fuel is bad news
So cleaner energy we must choose
An electric car does make sense
But governments sit on the fence
Nudging is now past its sell by date
Time for push, before it’s too late.
Continue reading