Towards Better Democracy

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

Time’s sweep subjective

Time’s sweep subjective how strange a thing
Its passage marked in seconds, minutes, and hours
And yet is not what it seems.

All around us marks it passage, aging from
Birth, our years upon the earth we celebrate
Time rules in its majesty and will not be usurped.

But time is no a constant, minutes do not measure
How we feel its passage. We can the hands watch
As they creep across the face.

Yet turn away an instant and an hour has passed
In age time is said to speed much quicker than it
Did but time experienced is different from the clock.

Our inner time subjective has no objective form
We’ll be back in ten minutes, we’ll say going
To the store and meet a friend and neighbour

And return at four. You’ve been away for ages,
You are told, where have you been. But, darling
I’ve only been gone a few minutes, you feel.

Then, waiting. What kind of time is this? A long
Wait, a short one, how can one tell the difference?
We’ve been waiting for ages, we tell our late come friends

Hurrying. Can such time be measured? You’ll have to
Hurry, you’ll miss your plane. And rush and rush
To catch what we then find has been delayed.

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 17 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

The arch

The arch, surely a poetic structure
Where man made have they not a beauty
Breathheld in their splendour.

That spanning of space with nothing
To support in between they seem unlikely
Held aloft by forces unseen.

We have them everywhere around us
And yet we never tire of observing
Their form satisfying complete.

Arches elegant through their
Curved sweep, others with a
Point at their pitch seeming

To squeeze the space that lies
In the void. We doorway with
Them, bridge gaps, vault cathedrals

Provide space below monuments
Memorial in our civic squares
They remind us of the pride

We feel of the space around us
Which we otherwise enclose
And mute they speak of time
Immemorial. Not Nature’s circle.

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 17 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry


Yes, another poem about concepts
Perhaps not a poem at all. But maybe,
Just maybe, a new kind of poem.

“When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,”
My goodness, they are all yellow
Fancy that.

Not to devalue such poems. No,
We treasure them. But they have
Been written and we cannot match
This poet’s skill as he wrote on Nature.

Not that we wish to be insensible to
The natural world around in all its
Beauty. Why should we not continue
To celebrate and prize what we have.

As we learn to live in at least some
Kind of harmony with this home of
Ours which though our relentless
Growth we have and continue to despoil.

Poets past have spoken of a greater world
The one that we create with all it ills.
“And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?”

Of coal used in quantities vast that
Sooted cities and made them black
“How the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every blackening church appals,”

Or going further back to celebrate
The ships that took out from
Our island homes to vast new
Homes which we hugely did populate.

In technology’s relentless march
We have unleashed a Prometheus
That is way beyond our control
But however much a Devil’s hindmost
It is, there is no going back.

And so we usurped in revolutions
The continuity of time, that brought
In their destruction, democracy
Machined agriculture that fed more.

This march has made time small
Moves faster and faster across our
Planet which we once viewed at flat
We seek to spin across our globe
Within a single flash.

Machined did we our clothes
Our writing, our speaking from afar
Our horses we machaniczied
And sent the airy manure
Far into man clouded skies.

We dreamed the dream of Icarus
And, like him at first, fell from the
The skies we flew, but mastered yet
And metaled wings that sped and speed
With a bullet mark.

And so we come to our present where
We make that once flat world digital
And introduce a world that we can’t see
But call virtual; its power holds us in thrall.

Are we human less? We are not for with
This vast change that creates worlds
Far greater than our physical world
We have our minds expand and see our world

We interconnect, span space invisibly without
A trace instantaneously. The new world has
Become ubiquitous: only the lame, the impoverished
Those in disarray are left behind.

And so we come to an even greater than that
Which we previously did create, a world so vast
That it almost defies our comprehension. A greater
Leap for which we do not yet have a name.

In words we stumble to find: Web3, the Internet
Of Things, Software as a Service, money in bits
Blockchained unimaginable, untrusted, cannot
Be held in hand, nor banked nor bound within
Our jurisdictions
and threatens old ways.

But more there is, and more and more, at a pace that takes
Breath that cannot be held. Our bits and bytes have so rapidly
Become quantities that we measure stars beyond our universe
Which too we barely comprehend.

Our minds our stretched, out learnings soon outmoded
Generations old are left far behind, and watch bemused
As we take our humanity into the robotic, where machines

Control our lives instead of being our slaves. Will we lose
Control, who will the future master be?

And yet we will strive to make sense of this that we self
Created face, to adapt as we have always done, unique
Upon the planet. We come finally to embrace systems
A break from our old fashioned ways where we in our
Acts and thoughts worked separately, did not connect.

But now we do in unprecedented ways, as we spin and
Span the thread of the web that now embraces every
Tiny corner of our globe. Its possibilities we feel are
So great that it is with hesitation contend, and yet
We know that this virtual world will now move

At unimaginable speed.
And yet, and yet, what beckons is a understanding
We have never had that we too are part of a system
Greater than even we can create.

This earth, our world, our home, is too made of systems
Which each work in harmony and interconnect with
Hardly a flaw. Our bodies too, by and large, work in a
Similar way.

Can at last we too find a way to interconnect to end
Our ways that threaten to destroy the very world
Upon which we stand?

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 17 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

Not the Mona Lisa smile

Not the Mona Lisa smile
But the beauty in the arch
Of the eyebrow and the slight
Turn of the head with the
Trace of a whimsical look
The makings of a question
Not asked. No movement of
The lips but merest trace of
A smile. Enigmatic in that
There is no knowing what this
Means but impact great
With its exquisite beauty
And stays long after
Imprinted within the inner eye.

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 17 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

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