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

The Bell at the End of the World

Once more the cracked bell knolled
Beware this fate it told
No destiny sure as yours
Kept to your present course

It made its plaintive sound
To turn his path around
For most its call boomed clear
Use dialogue, not fear

Odd, though, to offer choice
In cold forged metal voice
When none was to be made
His path would not be swayed

His chosen mind-set steady
With finger poised and ready
Just one thing left to do
All sage advice eschew

A Very Brief History Of The Cosmos

Out of nowhere a BANG takes place

Energy and matter now exist in space

Positive, negative, normal and dark

Atoms and strange particles, including the quark

 

Time is born; and its arithmetic

The cosmic clock makes its very first tick

Entropy increases, with empirical truth

Universe expanding, throughout its youth

 

Attractive forces come into play

Gravity, one such, holding sway

In gaseous clusters, suns start to glow

Forming heavier atoms in their fiery throe

 

Worlds coalesce from cosmic dusts

Atmospheres, weather, primordial crusts

Eons passing in galaxies rife

Goldilocks zones, permitting life

 

Normal matter, of which we’re made

Dark stuff, more common, cannot be weighed

Its job, invisible, to hold things in place

As we hurtle through the cosmos at a frantic pace

 

A Brief History Of War

Some will recount from times before

That any countries wanting war

Sent soldiers to some other place

Engaging armies, face to face

 

Soon warships harried other fleets

And blasted forts on far flung seas

Then planes dealt death from out the blue

To faceless foes; and innocents too

 

Now leaders posture with sabres rattling

Distant missiles to do their battling

Madness called war; a button-press away

If inflated egos hold their sway