Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

33 1/3

We are visiting a friend
My girlfriend and I
The flat is large
Room like a stage.

Deep in a corner
Out comes a sound
Quite unlike any
I had heard.

I ask, “Who is it?”
“Bob Dylan,” she said
This is the time
Of Chubby Checker
Everly Brothers.

Here on this side we’re obviously
Way behind the times
Though when he broke his back
We heard in an hour.

Later on I own
“Blond on Blond
“Why wait for the one you love
When he is standing in front of you.”

The nasal twang
The guy can’t sing a note
But the songs …“I’ll stand over your grave
To make sure you are dead.”

At one of the first Rock festivals
Grace Slick is singing.
“White Rabbit, White Rabbit,”
Roar the crowd, she ignores.

In a shop window of our town is a
Record cover picture of Paul McCartney and Linda,
“Who’d dat baby my Daddie’s holding,”
Asks my three old daughter.

Stereo was the rage, I had
Four speakers in the corners
Of the ceiling of the room
Volume to shake the house down.

On the Beeb the Rolling Stones
Come on, my father in law
Is watching, sickened
By Jagger in a skirt and lipstick

There is an underground magazine
Printed in thick ink with a
Game that resembles Snakes
And Ladders. There’s a phrase

“You have mishandled the placenta,
Go back three squares.” Then there’s
The School Kids issue that ends at the Old Bailey,
The bewigged Crown doesn’t see the humour.

A friend visits from six months in London
Looking like he’s lived in a cave
Sallow, pale, thin and ghostlyGives me some weed

I swear, one puff and I was ill
For three days, with symptoms
Much like the flue
Wife laughed and laughed.

That precious vinyl
Treated more precious than gold
I have some of them still, stacked in a corner
Nothing to play them with.

Malcolm D B Munro
Thursday 9 June, 2016


Filed under: poetry

Intelligent fish

Intelligent fish
Reading Sophocles
Infants mending brocade
Dancers dancing on nails

Speaking in wood
Lost in the ‘hood
Hammer it out
While you’ve sill got the gout

Flimsy parachutes
Falling into pancakes
If you don’t like syrup
Carry a spade

Old on the run
From out of womb
Nun in the nude
Pursued  by the priest

Tomb full of dust
Choking with a laugh
The jailers’ come
A thief in the night

Cuddle a cat
Bone in the throatCan’t sing a note
The oboe’s broke

Cliff towers down
Miles from the  sea
Tide coming in
Fries for tea

Zebra’s in Nevada
Don’t know his name
Check on the tee-shirt
Joe’s to blame

Jolly to bed
In the mid of the day
Head in a dream
The darling buds of May

The ice in the Bahamas
Eating bananas
Licking a spoon
Sitting on the moon

But it’s all right
Life will never end
I just wish I’d seen
Those intelligent fish.

Malcolm D B Munro
Thursday 9 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

Arch over the road

Pendulum swing
Rocking the bear
Standing still
Arch over the road

Pinnacle sweep
The magic keep
Tooth too sweet
Magnificent beat

Two in the crowd
Mowed by the shroud
Nickel named Dime
Meddling with time

Elemental partial
Darkness physical
Light’s danse masque
Trotsky’s shadow

Gold rim
Settled cloth
Gentle rum
Leaden moth

Arthur and Martha
Sedimentary slave
Grave in the lower depth
In the USA made

Bottled topple
Lipstick tiddle
Brother’s boots
The King’s cheroots

Maiden slayed
Liquid rhythm
Slime and slither
You might’ve stayed

Topper and topless
Version nine
Splintered brickSpiv in the Nick

The elephants dance
Ears aflap

In Madison Square
Pair by pair.

Malcolm D B Munro
Thursday 9 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

Castles in the Air

Castles are heavy beyond description
Beyond imagination. Quite how they
Stay in the air is even more unimaginable.

But that is what we are building, an
Internet beyond our comprehension
And the size is what defies.

Data is at the base of this and here
The metaphor fits. We can’t really
See it, this data. Perhaps we can
Imagine all of the people of that populate
The land mass of the United States.

But if we put together with 350 or
So million with the 700 million
Of India and the billion or two
Of China we have come up
With a number which already
the mind.

Can we picture in our head numbers
Of such magnitude? I suspect that
We cannot. We put these numbers
On paper and still they don’t seem
Real. Start to project to 2020 only
Six years from now, or 2040 and
The numbers go logarithmic.
2040 seems a long way off and
Maybe it is but that time will come as
All time has, even though most
Us alive now will be members
Of this innumerable number.

But these are not the castles
In the air. No the castles are
What we call Big Data and
In this case is
not an exaggeration
The big in Big is big.

We started out small as we always
Do. A bite, a size that we can get
Our hands and minds around.
Eight bits of information,
Eight 0 and 1’s, the stuff of
Digital data flows. Pretty
Soon we came to gigabytes
Which is the capacity of many
Of our cell phones.

But hold on one Goddam
Minute, a gigabyte is
1000 to the power of 3 and
Already we are are describing
A size that we cannot hold
In our minds. But we do not
Stop there. No, no, we are
On our way to generating
Exabytes and Zettabytes
Yottabytes, the names in and
Of themselves a
re meaningless.
1000 to
power of eight. And so we
Can keep adding powers ad infinitum
Our castles in the air
Now multiply to sizes
Which even the heavens cannot hold.

But the data is invisible and
We put it in little black boxes
That we put upon the ground.
They begin to proliferate
In their thousands, and soon
Millions are connected to
Each other with innumerable
Connections, all over the world
And here we have our castles
But we cannot see and can never
See what it is that they contain.

Malcolm D B Munro
Thursday 9 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

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