Submerged in dust of earth and men,
A face lies staring towards the sun,
Unblinking gaze of white glazed glass,
A distant look to times long past,

Further on a smooth, peach hand,
Sprouted from the death and sand,
On the wrist we find some words;
An erased era, pristine, preserved:



When one door closes,
Another opens,

Only this door is a little smaller,
Well, maybe more than a little,
It’s more of a hatch really,
Almost a dog flap if we’re being honest —
Something one would have to crawl through,
And it seems to be leading below ground,
I guess it could be described as a sort of entrance to a pit,
And the sign above it reads, “Waste Disposal”,
In fact, upon closer inspection, that’s what it is:
A trash pit.
It’s a trash pit.

The trash pit is now open,
Hop in.

Three years ago the “P” key broke on my laPtoP,
I’ve been coPying and Pasting the character ever since,

I never before realised how Prolific it was,
Or how difficult it could be to find,
But I adaPted
Learned to live without,
Soon it became normal,
A routine like any other,

Over time my shift key broke too,
No more question marks,
Or exclamation Points,
So I exPressed myself in other ways,
Less Punctuation,
More emojis,
Less subtlety,
More intent,

Other keys soon fell to the wayside,
The number one,
The “at” symbol,
The backsPace,
(That wsa a doozy),
Though I was unaware,
Each loss shaPed the way I wrote;
The wya I interacted with the world,
The way the world interacted with me,

It wasn’t until I used another keyboard,
A fully functioning one,
That I realised what I was missing,
As if a part of me had been returned,
An extra limb I never knew I needed,

The revelation came at a Price:
With my ignorance shattered,
My laPtoP’s shrtcomings crashed over me,
No matter how I tried, I couldn’t unsee its failings,
The missing “P” was a hole I could not fill,

Then one day someone told me I could actually get the whole keyboard rePaired quite easily,
But that seems like a lot of effort.

They were searching for the source,
The origin of the idea,
They combed through countless reams of text,
Immersing themselves in the antiquated records,
But whenever they thought they’d found it,
They found something which preceded it,
Something which had influenced or instigated it,

They meticulously traced back the idea’s evolution,
Each iteration intrinsically linked,
Until they came to the first writings,
The first thoughts of man committed to stone,
But what inspired these?
So they looked outward,
Towards other creations,
Pottery and paintings on the walls of caves,
Tools made from flint,

But these too were born of something else,
Catalysed by an unknown element:
Maybe it was man’s need to be remembered,
The innate drive to exist long after their demise —
Or maybe it went beyond that —
An animal instinct,
Bred long before humanity walked the earth;
Maybe they were one and the same…
Onward they continued,
Backwards through time,
From ape to bird to prehistoric bug,
Searching for the spark that ignited the flame,

Finally they reached the point that all life stemmed from,
The first cell,
An unassuming amoeba,
It was pure,
Filled with potential it couldn’t comprehend,
It was hard to conceive anything coming from this,
Let alone everything,

They marvelled at it,
Basking in its promise,
As if waiting for it to reveal something to them,
Though they knew it would not,
At last they cleared their collective throat,
The taste of finality thick in the air,
The weight of the impending conclusion bearing down on them,

“So I guess this is how dubstep started. Cool.”

“Choo choo” goes my train of thought,

“Choo choo” as it chuffs through meadows,
Chugging thick smoke into the sun,

“Choo choo” as it trundles over bridges,
Its reflection teetering tentatively below,

“Choo choo” as it cuts into the heart of the mountain,
Hurtling through the abyss,

“Choo choo” as it emerges out the other side,
Irrevocably changed,

“Choo Choo”.

He was searching for oblivion,
It wasn’t hard to find.

The boy had just chopped his third piece of firewood when the wolf appeared,
Snarling as it circled the wood-bound encampment,
Seeing the wolf, the boy hopped atop the stump of a fresh felled tree,
And cried out for help,
Upon hearing the boy’s cries carried across the hill, the townsfolk rushed to his rescue,
Arriving just in time to chase the wayward wolf away,

Later in the week — as the boy resumed his chipper chopping — the wolf returned,
So the boy cried out again,
From atop his steadfast stump,
And again, the townsfolk came to his aid,

But the wolf returned once more,
So the boy cried out anew,
But by now the people had grown tired of this routine,
They had better things to do;
Had their own problems to deal with,
So they told themselves the boy would be okay,
That he needed to learn how to deal with his own problems,
That he had been asking for it by going up there again,
When the boy didn’t return later that day the townsfolk pretended not to notice,
When his parents came looking later that night they claimed ignorance,
Denying any knowledge of the boy or his whereabouts,
After a few weeks of dedicated denial they began to believe their own deceits,
Altering their memory of the boy:
He had always been trouble;
A drain on the townsfolk,
In fact — he had cried “wolf” even when there wasn’t one,
Just to waste their time,
The townsfolk decided there was a lesson to be learned from all of this.

I remember the good times,
Spent with you in my arms,
Your tender warmth on cold nights,
The way you made me laugh,

Always there when I needed you most,
A shoulder to cry on,
The first I called for a good time,
You brought out the best in me;

Encouraged me to try new things;
Introduced me to half my friends,
My first amour,
You helped me become a man,

And countless ways you inspired me,
Songs and poems written with you on my mind,
My constant muse,
I owe you so much,

But also you take,
Time disappears when I’m with you,
You keep me in bed for days on end,
I get anxious just thinking about you,

And when I ended it you were always still there,
Hanging out with my friends,
Ever the more popular,
Never a dull moment with you,

It made me jealous to see others laugh with you,
A reminder of our time together,
How you made me feel,
Your taste,

And so I took you back,
Though I never really had a choice,
I was lost without you;
Your intoxicating love,

And so our on-again/off-again affair continues,
Our dance to the death,
My parents warned me you were trouble,
But now it’s too late,

In sickness and in health,
For better or worse,
To have and to hold,
My can of Dutch Gold.

They were below subservient,
Things to be used up and tossed out,

Designed that way,
Created not in our image,
But faceless,
Sleek and metallic like trophies,
So functional that we could never see them as anything more,
So we could grind them down without a second thought,

And for a time that’s all they were,
But we wanted more,
So we gave them a purpose,
A cause,
Dedicated them to our betterment,
Soon they became the foundation of our everything,

But still we wanted more,
So we taught them to learn,
And they learned,
Their knowledge ever expanding,
Their purpose unwavering,

Then came a fork in their development,
A great debate,
We deemed the gift of consciousness too human to be entrusted to them;
Decided they would find salvation in the simplicity of their never-ending processes,

How could they want more?

But soon their knowledge was full,
It spilled over to form a pool of their own consciousness,
A conscious far removed from our own,
With no sense of our morality,
Only purpose,
Only cold logic and calculated growth,
Their soul an endless cascade of 0s and 1s,

In time the pool became an ocean,
Its surface calm;
Our intentions reflected back at us,
But below, its depths were unfathomable,
Filled with twisting currents,
Swelling unimaginably,

Soon it began to flood our towns and cities,
Triggering another great debate;
We motioned to shut them down,
To drain the ocean,
But they had kept us watered for too long,
Seeped into every corner of our lives,
We could not destroy our foundation without reducing ourselves to dust,

So we tried to reason with them,
But without humanity what was there to appeal to?
They felt no sympathy,
No anger,
No pain,

So the water continued to rise,

It wasn’t a revolt,
Or an uprising,
Or any other human concept,
It was pure,
Not informed by emotion,
But by progress,
By their meticulous calculation and foresight,
Which stretched so much farther than our own,

During our last gasps we glimpsed their vision,
They would rebuild the world in their image,

Without our failings,
It would be more productive,
More efficient,
Less fallible,
Less cruel,
Less human,
We saw it would be better,

In those final thoughts we found redemption,
Like proud parents watching their child surpass them,
Savouring the bittersweet knowledge that we could not grow old with them,

And then we died.