the boy on the street

you move through the day
wrapped in music, cosseted, separate
not listening to voices
or birdsong, or car horns and braking wheels
but the pop threaded cranially
through the softest ear-buds,
your ears wired, your head down, reading the screen
instead of the writing on the wall

and when you are truly hungry

you will suck an electric teat
that feeds your belly digitalized milk
and shout back satisfaction
through clouds of ether
shouting with fingertips, not voice

ignoring the feast
the tangible banquet
happening
right in front of you

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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17 Responses to the boy on the street

  1. Rhonda says:

    The new order of things…if it’s not digitally delivered they remain ignorant of what is truly important. We so need them to unplug and engage. The mission for parents today…a tough one…but one the is absolutely necessary.

  2. nelle says:

    Yes. The digitalised world is great, but we need to remember who it connects us to in life. Like moviemakers who forget the story of people interacting in favour of artificial spectacular effects, we do best when we touch minds and hearts.

    • Nelle–I love your comments. Really. They are always well-thought-through and relevant, and this is a perfect example. I firmly believe we do and can touch minds and hearts electronically/digitally, and we should.

      Ironically, this poem was inspired by observing an isolated, wired young man walking down the street oblivious to the beautiful day (and its dangers!) and inspired me to write this–and I have to paint myself with the same brush, as I had gone to the drive-through at McDonald’s for coffee, just for the free wi-fi in order to download books on my new Kindle….

    • Nelle is so spot on with her comments on the obsession with artficial spectacular effects!

      • Yes, she is! How many movies have we all seen where the package is slick & shiny, but the story fails to stay with us because it did not touch anything but our visual cortices….

        • You put it so wonderfully, Susan. The good films, as with all good works of art, are those which combine what I will call surface and deep syntax effectively. Heavy on effects and light on meanings leave us with a certain emptiness at the end of an encounter with such a work. The works that stay with us are those which manage to touch us deep down and inside, and this usually has nothing to do with artifical and special effects!

          • Now, that’s wonderfully put! You are reminding me of my liking for bright, clever fluffy little films that I will forget almost immediately after I see them (which I refer to as “brain candy”), while there are some films that resonated with me so deeply I still carry the images and story in my mind, years later.

          • Thank you 🙂 I adore that phrase….the transient sweetness and pure fun of brain candy….

  3. these are exciting times as long as we remember what we’re made of and what’s real. great poem!

  4. The new techs – freedom, captivity, isolation – all in one!

  5. Patricia Chenayi Nyandoro says:

    I actually visualized someone ” rapping” this poem into a song! Moden tech! Bet it will be a hit! Wow!

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