Deaf NOT Daft

Dappled conversations

Confusing to the ear

Brightly tinkling chatter

Dull, no longer clear

 

Silent slippery sentences

Lips lend a visual clue

Shattered to staccato

Once they’re not in view

 

Sorry, I didn’t catch that

Say it once more, please

I’m deaf not daft, truly

Some words just like Swiss cheese

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.

Watching Not Helping

She’s such a little darling

He is as good as gold

When asked to look at the TV

They do as they are told

 

Out shopping they’re so helpful

As they run around the store

Bringing things they think I’ll need

Like chocolates, toys and more

 

Dodging round the trolleys

They’re so nimble on their feet

Trying out the pick and mix

And other things to eat

 

Selfish people can be grumpy

When standing in their way

And nasty managers even moan

About their precious display

 

But they don’t see them with their pals

Outside, when I’m not there

They seem to get along just fine

And injuries are rare

 

At school they are so popular

The teachers know them well

They soon would learn their ABC

If they just sit still for a spell

 

I do my best to help them

Like shopping for their clothes

I get the best designer shoes

And piercings for their nose

 

I think that I’m so lucky

Compared to some I know

My kids are independent

And I love to watch them grow.

The Perfect Dad

It’s hard to be that perfect dad

Who doesn’t drive his children mad

Maybe some faults most dads share

Pointed out, becoming clear

 

Gone past the need to care so much

For children’s welfare, health and such

Guiding in the social mores

Without setting many chores

 

Feeding and clothing without concern

That they give something in return

Plying with love, support and care

Showing them it’s OK to dare

 

Providing every chance to see

The very best that they might be

Become the adult you are not

We try to give it our best shot

 

But, the final test of fatherhood;

Something seldom understood

When adult, can each child respect

The norm is; dads are seldom perfect.

 

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