I lay me down, inviting sleep,
Then close my eyes and quietly weep;
And, weeping, I compose an elegy
To all who haven’t read my trilogy.
Oh what joy when, with contrition,
They rectify this sore omission!
Enlightenment and laughter will
Fill their souls and overspill!
Critic Oi, poet bloke. That don’t rhyme.
Critic “Elegy, trilogy.” That don’t rhyme. Won’t do.
Poet Well, it very nearly rhymes.
Critic Not good enough.
Poet It’s assonance, for God’s sake.
Critic Asinine, more like.
Poet Assonance! It’s a perfectly legitimate poetic device. Look it up.
Critic Wouldn’t have done for John bloody Betjeman and he was Poet Laureate.
Poet Well it did for Philip bloody Larkin and he was Poet Laureate too!
Critic Phil who?
Poet Philip Larkin! Half the time he didn’t bother with rhymes at all, and when he did it was half-baked. “Clothes, those.” “If, life.” “Back, dark.” See?
Critic S’pose you stand a chance then. Next Poet Laureate?
Poet It’s… not impossible.
It shows great generosity of spirit when one author recommends the work of another. This I now do.
I’ve just finished reading ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari, and I urge you to read it too. And give it to your friends and relatives, or at least recommend it to them. It’s subtitled ‘A Brief History of Humankind’, and although there may not be much there that you don’t already know, he puts it together in a way that makes one think about it differently. At least, that’s how I felt.
Best of all, Dr Harari ends by speculating about what will happen next in Homo sapiens’ journey, when our powers to create and control will truly make us godlike and the next step in our evolution will be of our own making.
It put me in mind of my own modest work: The Eeks Trilogy, available from all good e-book retailers in a single volume entitled ‘Goldiloxians’, which speculates about our future dealings with intelligent robots. But do read ‘Sapiens’ too.
If you’ve read my book ‘Household Management for Men ‘ (aka HM4MEN) you’ll be familiar with the concept of invisible dirt. This is dirt can be detected only by people with a certain medical condition, who are known to doctors as ‘women’.
Having spent a month in a Tbilisi apartment where the only cleaning equipment was a broom, a dustpan-and-brush and a duster, when it came time to do a bit of a clean-up – so the landlord and lady wouldn’t think I’m a slob, and by extension that all Australians are slobs – I wielded the broom. Applying it to an apparently clean floor I witnessed an astounding phenomenon. As the broom progressed along the surface of the floor, dirt appeared in front of it!
After some experimentation and coffee-assisted contemplation I concluded that the dirt became visible when it attained a certain critical mass. So by moving the broom along the floor the invisible dirt was aggregated, consolidated, concentrated to the point where visibility occurred.
And I wondered… if this can happen to invisible dirt, might it not also happen to dark matter? If we could devise something analogous to a cosmic broom, and sweep the dark matter before it, a critical mass might be reached that would force this shy substance to reveal itself.
So I’ve done the hard work – the insight bit. If some clever scientist-person will now take the next step and come up with the means to carry out my clever plan… well, I’ll be happy to share the Nobel Prize 50/50.