Imagine

Try to imagine this with me

Quiet your mind, let it roam free

Looking out over a calm blue sea

At a foreign shore where you could be

 

Drift across that peaceful scene

To wave kissed beaches, still pristine

Edged by tall trees in verdant green

No sound but bird song, so serene

 

There, just there, pause and wait

Relish the moment and aspirate

Here where time is more sedate

Open your soul to a higher state

 

An Unexpected Caller

A caller rang the doorbell

Straight way my heartbeat skipped

Who can this be a-ringing

With no visitors on the script

 

The house is so untidy

I haven’t combed my hair

Fish smells linger from the kitchen

The timing’s so unfair

 

No chance to try addressing

The mad jumble of concerns

Again the bell rings threatening

To open my can of worms

 

A moment’s hesitation

Safe this side of the door

Jumping with surprise as

A note flutters to the floor

 

Then footsteps gate-ward tread

As I guiltily scan the card

‘We tried to deliver a parcel today

You must collect it from our yard’

 

It Could be Worse

Despite the fuss on the national news

Last week’s earthquake brought hardly a bruise

Barely enough to make walls shake

But ‘quakes elsewhere, leave deaths in their wake

 

Classed as ‘light’; Richter 4.4

Even more slight than in ’84

When we swept up the kids and ran outside

If the earth moves, there’s nowhere to hide

 

Now, it seems, we’ve another ‘grave’ threat

The ‘beast from the east’, a new cause to fret

A Siberian blast, bringing snow and ice

At -5C, the Beeb says it won’t be nice

 

But some can recall the freeze of ’82

When staying outdoors wasn’t good for you

At -26C, that really was cold

It killed by degrees, especially the old.

Never Being Wrong

Know for certain this one fact

However surely you may act

There is a chance you may be wrong

Perhaps should sing a different song

 

Know this too, for it is true

Some about, loyal to you

Politely as you ply your view

Consider this as nothing new

 

A Toast

Come any who might with me dine
Of choicest foods and finer wine
And know full well that down the line
You too must share this cup of mine

Then do not seek to chide thine host
Instead drink deep that final toast
For that you have you forfeit most
Of what remains you cannot boast

The Threat from Artificial Intelligence

Many things have threatened our lives
War, disease, terrorists with knives
Humanity’s resilience on a world-wide scale
Brings overconfidence that we always prevail

Now, blindly, we seek our nemesis to grow
Racing to unleash a formidable foe
A holy grail with potential for good?
More, our undoing, not understood

For scientists strive around the globe
To create an electronic temporal lobe
The ‘AI’ juggernaut  is on its way
But let’s not wake to rue that day

Once created, how to hold it in check
To stop society becoming a wreck
Pandora’s box; lid open wide
Mankind swept away on tsunami tide

Computers manage our knowledge; they have a key role
In energy grids, finance, air traffic control
Vast infrastructures already in place
Black boxes communicating with their own race

Once these machines are able to think
Harnessing speeds faster than a lightning blink
With capacity to accelerate their own evolution
What regard then for our frail constitution

Not bound by ethics to consider our fate,
Would they preserve a welfare state?
Circuits and chips that become aware
May not accept that they need to care

For earth’s resources they will compete
Serving no purpose, we’d be obsolete
How soon before we are oppressed
If they turn off the lights, we’ll do the rest