I’ve been rummaging through files of old bits of writing and found this parody of Wordsworth’s sonnet, The World is Too Much with Us. It is just a bit of fun, or is it?
The Cyberworld Is Too Much With Us
The cyberworld is too much with us – now and soon,
Texting and messaging lay waste our hours;
Much we see online that is ours;
We use our mouse to click into a room!
This cyberspace that takes us to the moon;
The netiquette that gives a newbie powers;
It’s Mother’s Day so send some cyber flowers.
On first of April you can play the goon;
Embed a virus in your message to mankind,
And hope to access every PC in the land.
Google or cybersleuth will not find
The worm insinuated by your hand;
If you love power you will not mind;
You are a cybernaut with one command!
Winter sun bathes the bricks, white
tailed bumble bees tumble from
their winter bunks, stagger towards
ivy florets, the hinterland between
park and street – a refuge from exhaust
fumes and a thousand hurrying feet.
Rush hour and darkening sky
heavy with manic murmuration
starts a panic among the beetling crowds.
Upturned faces –
Sudden cessation of shriek –
Like a giant bat’s wing the flock
shrouds the city wall and hangs –
silent above the footfall.
Twenty or thirty years ago huge flocks of tens of thousands of starlings roosted in cities. They no longer roost in such numbers here in Newcastle upon Tyne.
I don’t want to over-explain any of my paintings, but on the other hand I like to give a context and some pointers. You may note the obvious theme of mortality in this still life!
What about the odd jumble of birds on the seat? Much of our knowledge of nature/wildlife has come at a cost. Before the second half of the twentieth century it was common for scientists to kill animals in order to study them. Even my hero, Charles Darwin, did this on a grand scale. Audubon – the American bird artist – shot birds in order to paint them. We are more compassionate nowadays but there is still massive exploitation of wildlife in many other ways.