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.
Web: cyberstanza.org or cyberstanza.com
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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 →
Solar farms built in northern climes
Skyline monuments — wind turbines
But how to store the wind and sun
Not thought about as policies spun
And so we pay to Grid not feed
If wind and sun they have no need
Renewable energy going to waste
From policies made in unseemly haste.
Green power storage first must be cracked
For move from fossils to be backed
Much conversion figures in this quest
Although no solution has yet proved best.
But a certain irony has come to pass
Green electricity is turned to gas
Or it can be used to power a pump
Moving water uphill for later dump
Or compressing air can be its fate
For driving turbines at later date.
But wait …
Here come the disruptive events
For hydrocarbons now cost fewer cents
Oil’s demise has been much tracked
But now the shale is truly fracked
And the Arabs then lowered the price
So we embrace again our fossil vice.
Now in any space or event
Big Brother can watch you vent
Whether you’re inside, or outdoor
There’s no hiding place any more
Meteor strike or plane crash
All now captured from the dash
And if you cause some offence
Big Brother has the evidence
A fleeting moment of no constraint
But a lifetime to feel the taint
Your unwilling spot as YouTube star
Shows the world you went too far
The virtual mob smelt the blood
A comment trickle became a flood
A social position once enjoyed
Social media forever destroyed
Ninety Eighty Four has passed
Dystopian fiction it was classed
Big Brother defined what was true
Now Big Brother, is me and you. Continue reading →
Masters of Finance
Of derivatives fame
That built the ghost funds
That built the debt bombs
You who owned banks
Who played the money ball
We just want you to know
We now see through it all.
You fiscal thought leaders
Much wealth did you claim
You treat our world like —
Digital bits in a game
You promise a home in our hands
But then you run from our cries
As the debt mountain rises
And the value then dies.
Your ‘quant’ alchemists
Many coded spells did create
For spreading poisoned apples
Among assets of higher rate
You gamblers on short-term profit
With true value lower scored
Inflated explosive bubbles
So debt-driven prices soared.
You Gods of Sub-Prime
Who feign to receive
Markets only grow
You would have us believe
But we now see through your lies
It was all for vain
All we thought we had
Has run down the drain.
You set up the debt levers
So that others would hire
And you sat back and watched
As dreams burned in the fire
You retired to your castle
As each nation’s wealth
Burst forth from the bubble
Built so much in stealth.
In your quest for obscene profits
The risks have unfurled
Now we fear to invest
What we have left in this world
By threatening our people
And causing such pains
We don’t what it is that
Flows through your veins.
But what do we know
To speak so out of turn
You might say we’re bitter
You might say we’ll burn
But one thing we know
Because we’re not one of you
Even Mammon decided
To disown what you do.
So it’s now time for some questions
Was that bonus worthwhile?
Did we share in your windfall?
Or is that not your style?
And what of your Hedge Fund?
Did that meet your need?
Did your selling short gamble?
Get you back on your steed?
And did your claim for expenses
Also treat us like fools?
Did clearing the moat around your castle
Meet with the rules?
Was your status really so special?
As you became embroiled in the mess
Did your pathetic excuses
Play well with the press?
You false Masters of Finance
You false Gods of Sub-Prime
You purveyors of toxic assets
Have now had your time
And when the grim reaper calls
And you’re served with his writ
Explain your part to Beelzebub
May you roast slowly on his spit. Continue reading →