All my school-mates, all my former colleagues – All now broken links. When clicking on their memories, I find each name and face un-syncs. I’ve left a trail of 404s behind me, An archive of data decay – I’ve got no backup with which to remind me, As all my friendships leak away.
Blue, is hard for nature to be it – We’re told “no pigments” is the why. Forget-me-nots, though, give the lie, And kingfishers darting by, And rocks of lapis lazuli, And the irises of Lady Di – And Planet Earth, I hear you cry, Together with the frigging sky ! So yes, the ancient Greeks could see it, Just as well as you or I.
I asked for a poem from the algorithm – It took the simple prompt it was given, And after thinking a second or so, The words began to flow…
And they were bad, man, Really bad – The scribbling of a mixed-up lad. Cos the thing with greenhorns, They lack know-how, But think the world must hear them now… Till one day, we’ll all look back and laugh, At AI’s opening paragraph.
Sure, they had rhyme and they had rhythm, Verse by verse, the cursor driven, Never knowing when it said enough, Just filled the screen with stuff…
But this was bad, man, Really bad – The first draft of an undergrad. Cos the thing with students, Is that they learn, Just practicing until their turn… Till one day, a beautiful work of art From a Turing Test will break our heart.
Rivers are boring when they’re straight, We’ve got the canals for that. But rivers will race and rivers will wait, As they twist through their habitat. They’re in no hurry to terminate, They meander around, and ambulate, Through oxbows of a future-date, Until they’re old and fat. I used to marvel how they’d know Which way to go to flow through ev’ry town. But gravity cares none for to or fro, For fast or slow, As long as they flow down. Rivers are boring when they’re straight, But once they’ve earned the name of ‘great’, They carve their many strands through delta sands, While the hungry sea must wait.
When I first heard of what made androids dream, I wanted to know much more – Like where are the hordes of electric sheep All under the crook of a cyber-Beau Peep ? Yet ev’ry pasture dotted with white may teem With robotic ewes by the score, And so well made are these flocks of steel, They bleat and follow just like real… Do their eyeballs glow with a laser beam That the ravens quake before ? Are their horns antennas, warning of fox ? Does their wool discharge with electric shocks ? I swear these sheep aren’t all they seem, It’s folly to just ignore… For the folds are filling with a new kind of lamb, A bellwether seeking to upgrade their ram.
The stars only show up When we open up our eyes, With our pupils set on f-2 To maximise the skies. With focus to infinity To catch the light-years light And fast-films for retinas To turn the blackness bright. Our long-exposure eyelids Are timed to lift their veil – Thirty seconds is enough, Or else the stars will trail. And then our nerves develop it With not a blur nor wrinkle – It’s just a little grainy As the pinpoints gently twinkle.
Puffing into Rugby, But this loco’s not a pipe, Shunting on to Inverness, With giant apples, ripe. Rolling out of Derby When the trees are like a fern, Let’s open up the fire-box, And watch the tubas burn. Pulling into Euston, Where the bowler-hatted rain – Then chuffing-up at Templecombe, A spiral-peel of train. She’s right on time, in ivory black, But never bright cerise – The workhorse of the LMS, From Crewe to mantlepiece.
Bottled water ? What a skeeving, What an tosser, what a waste – A plastic-spewing aqui-thieving, Just to get the same damn taste ! Ever since the Romans dreamed Of aquaducts of running water, Engineers have turned their streams Into a torrent, piped to order. Teeth are whiter, homes are cleaner, Cholera and lead are gone – Footprints smaller, gardens greener – Thrown away for Evian ! Hipsters sip ’em, yuppies neck ’em, Horrified by simple tap. The only brand I drink is Peckham – Piss-off Perrier, you’re full of crap !
Roman numerals – They’re so bloody useless ! Their continued presence Is really excuse-less. Clocks are okay, Cos we know by position, But years shouldn’t need such Subtract and addition. Just how could the Romans Be quite so bloody-well thick ?, With numbers unwieldy For simple arithmetic.
Don’t put them on buildings, Or credits in movies – You’re being a snob Who wants to ‘improve’ me. Well, maybe with sequels, But stop after III – They get so confusing With eye before vee. Just how could the Romans Be quite so damn-well unwise ?, With numbers whose value Is so unrelated to size.