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’

 

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

The Grand National Horse Race

Today is the day of the English Grand National

I’m so excited, I can’t be rational

I’ll have a small wager, maybe two

Oh, what the heck, I’ll have a few

 

If my horse comes in I could win a lot

If several are placed I’ll make a pot

One thing I’d do with a sizable prize

Try out a new sports car, just for size

 

Then buy a new house, detached of course

Or maybe put my winnings on another horse

After all, once on a winning streak

I can give up work, as soon as next week