Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Science fiction

This poem is one of the sonnets I wrote for the Radio 3 sonnet competition in 2001. See my post of 30 May 2011 for more on that. The poem found a home online at www.mywritingworld.org.uk , a not particularly prestigious site that has since been taken down.


With this hand-held device that has the power
of drawing moisture from the atmosphere,
to concentrate it in a mobile shower,
what happens next? Round its first pioneer,
we find the gadget game for innovating.
Fear that the water is unfit to use
is the most-cited factor militating
against acceptance. But the few enthuse,
till the complaint is carriage seats awash
with watered flesh, and people shower in church.
Then mobile showers are linked to the new rash
of sunspots, hurricanes and ghosts. Research
goes on, with altered frames of reference,
in deepest Wilts., and funded by Defence.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


I had an access of poetry-writing in 1991, following a change of flat.  This one was published in Cambridge University libraries information bulletin 35-36, 1994-1995, p. 10.  The carpet tiles in question were in a library.  CULIB's online presence doesn't go back that far, but is worth following.


The green of the new carpet-tiles
so lightly matches that on dull
days it appears a windowful
of wan sunlight has smiled this pool

into the room.  The edges are
so finely trimmed you're never sure
if they lap at a fixture or
have moved its rising from the floor.

The great computer security debate

The technology's a bit dated in this one, I know -- it was written in 2005 and looks back a few years beyond that.  It was published in the last-ever issue of Streetwise, 68, Christmas/New Year 2007-2008, p. 7.


Fire is for firewalls, which, despite the name,
are software held on disks, not bricks aflame.

Fire is for arguments: should we install
firewalls ourselves, or trust the main firewall?

Fire is for hell -- flickers and smoke whereby
the world looks as it does, with stakes so high.

Fire is for martyrs, taunted to a passion
by spam, flesh, money, Goblin-Market-fashion.

Fire is for blushes, since the martyrdom
was ended by the filtering of spam,
not by firewalls.  The burn is from the embers
of martyrdom the martyred one remembers.