Before the Cell and Web

  (Dedicated to Barbara Yifru)

Before the mobile phone,
Unless they were addressed to us,
We were not fettered
By intrusive, trivial thoughts
Of solitary strangers,
Attached to cell,
Riding on a train or bus
Or walking close
In some secluded paradise,
Where creatures still fared well,
Or simply in the dark.

Before the internet
(With its silent, virtual,
Cyberspatial waves,
Pervading the globe,
And plastic, mouse-shaped bait),
Except in waters  known for prey,
To surf meant gliding blithely –
Rarely to hit, be snared or stalked
By some invisible,
Unlikely to be caught,
All-consuming shark.

Before the cell and web,
Which, like bio-engineering,
Blindly pave the way
For promoters of Big Brother
And brave new world,
There was the age-old grapevine:
Information on a human scale,
Preferably in a local bar
Beyond the range
Of unripe, carefree kids
And folk who lived to hear the lark.

25 July 2012