Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Nothing so dangerous as a keyboard

Dedicated to all those I have
unwittingly – and wittingly – hurt, insulted,
misunderstood, put down or passed

This is a modern type of dance: we sway,
With thoughts engaged but hands that never touch.
Our partners may be half a world away,
Unheard, held only in the pixel’s clutch.

Words normally succumb to charm and style
On television and in politics
But here they’re all we are - no frown, no smile,
No waving hand, no nervous facial ticks.

Consider now that oh-so-witty phrase
Launched nude, destined for distant scrutiny,
Mere words that lacked the normal artifice
Of gesture, tone or personality.

Arriving, frozen, in its shorn-lamb form
The letters fixed, the burden divergent,
A dozen novel voices in a swarm
Of unintended causes for dissent.

Misread, the words return as bleak response
Like local wine they have not travelled well
The wit that wore such nonchalance
Is now dull-voiced, a melancholy bell.

I could be bland for blandness rarely hurts
And many people search out Mother’s Pride*.
There’s comfort in a cliché as it flirts
With what is known, well-worn or lately died.

I could attach a photo of my face
Its drooping gauntness admirable proof
That age and underlying lack of grace
Are reasons why my prose can sound aloof.

To blog – that ugly word – is idle fun
With answers that supply a rich reward.
But oh the flaw of simple words alone
Without the aid of physical accord.

For what is said and what we want to say
Bestrides a gap as wide as any wound
It is the price that intellect must pay
When our humanity has run aground.

* Thermometers thrust into mouths
sometimes break and fragments are
swallowed. As antidote, sufferers were
made to eat cotton-wool sandwiches.
Technology has moved on and Mother’s
Pride sandwiches, lacking cotton-wool,
do just as well.