2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

Today is a Tuesday, which means it’s a Two-for-Tuesday prompt day.

For today’s prompt, here are your two options:

  1. Write a Technology Poem.
  2. Write an Anti-Technology Poem.

So it’s pretty simple: Write a poem that involves technology or fights against it.

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Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Technology and/or Anti-Technology poem:

“That One Boy”

“You’ve made a mistake,” said a voice. “And now you will have
to pay in blood.” All four teens jumped toward and into the house
in unison as the voice was promptly followed by a mechanical
laugh, “Ha-ha-ha. Ha-ha-ha. Your souls will be mine for eternity.”

“Look,” said Eddie pointing. “It’s just a motion-activated Halloween
prop, you bunch of chickens.” “You jumped too,” said Barbara, who
immediately went silent, because a light flickered on directly above
them. They all pressed hard against the side of the house and didn’t

dare move a muscle. Above, they heard two voices muted by the old
window. “I’m telling you, I heard a voice,” said someone who sounded
like a wicked old witch. “Yeah, you heard a voice,” said a gruffer person,

“that durned anima-whose-it you got out there keeps going off every
time an animal walks past it.” “Well,” said the witch, “we need an alarm.”
“For what? No one ever comes out here anyway…except that one boy.”

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

This is his eighth year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. He can’t wait to see what everyone creates this month–not only on a day-by-day basis, but when the chapbooks start arriving in December and January. Fun, fun, fun.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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274 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

  1. PSC in CT

    Sacred Machinery

    There exists
    such a prodigious array
    of sophisticated digital devices
    allowing us to record, replay
    and reproduce experiences
    in a variety of ways.

    We’ve become quite adept
    at catching sound bites
    and visual bits to seize and share
    meaningful moments, and yet,
    with all these most amazing,
    new and technologically advanced
    products there is Nothing
    (no television, camera,
    computer or drone)
    that can compete with
    the incredible body human.

    Only this simply divine machine
    with its finely tuned senses –
    its taste buds and chemoreceptors –
    its limbic system, electrical impulses,
    neurotransmitters and synapses
    (all tied together, tightly and perfectly,
    to our own memories and emotions)
    can properly capture the petrichor
    of this so stellar autumn evening.

  2. tobysgirl

    The Day the Computers Die

    As anti-human as I am (I have issues getting close to people)
    I hate that no one looks at anyone else anymore.
    Cell phones and computers are the wave of the future,
    the future being now,
    and we are totally engrossed.
    It will be the downfall of our civilization,
    and it will be the beginning of a new one.

    The day will come when someone pulls a switch and we will all become disconnected.
    I both welcome and dread that day.
    After trying, over and over again, to get that device to work,
    we will all wander out of our homes and offices,
    scratching our heads, and
    squint into the sun,
    wondering what just happened,
    and thinking that we’ll have to google it later.
    We will see others, just as confused, thinking the same thought and sharing it with us
    and we’ll actually laugh out loud
    – not LOL.
    What a day that will be!

    To pick up a pen and notepad and write a letter,
    send it with a stamp,
    and anticipate an answer!
    Hopefully, there will be some of us still with physical,
    actually hold in your hand address books,
    to pave the way.

    We will all share in the struggle of becoming human again,
    of seeing others and actually hearing them.
    We’ll be more connected than we are right now.
    Instead of knowing a profile, we may actually get to know one another.
    And hopefully, if we do get plugged in again,
    we’ll know that we need to get out,
    meet our neighbors,
    be part of the world we write and rant about,
    not just a voyeur.

    There are only two things I dread about being unplugged:
    Losing my writing,
    and losing my photos.
    But that would be such a small thing to lose if we all came
    together again

  3. carolecole66

    Bicycle

    Such a simple machine, two wheels, a chain,
    some gears, as ancient, really, as the joy
    of flying, winged, it seems, my hair blowing
    back, my body open to the air, the smell
    of mown grass, the lizard racing across
    my path, the hum of tires. I can taste honey
    in the wind. Here I am in the world, here
    all logic disappears and I am pure sun
    for one long and luminous hour.

  4. SarahLeaSales

    The New Era

    For every e-mail,
    a handwritten letter doesn’t get written.

    Texts have replaced phone calls,
    Facebook time takes the place of face time.

    For every online church,
    there is one less person inside
    The Church of the Ages.

    For every online class,
    there is less interaction.

    For every word looked up at the touch of a screen,
    there is a word less remembered.

    For every game played on the computer,
    there is a board game that sits on the shelf.

    For every online job application completed,
    the chance of being noticed lessens.

    For every new blog started up,
    hundreds of dead blogs litter the information superhighway.

    For every online purchase,
    there is one less person to admire the sights,
    the sounds,
    the smells that accompany the season.

    For every new technology,
    something dies,
    and something else is born;
    something is lost,
    something is gained.

  5. Earl Parsons

    I Remember the Day

    I remember the day when cell phones didn’t exist
    When computers were only for corporations and government
    And we had to have film in our cameras

    I remember the day when a GPS was a paper map
    We had to actually plan our routes before starting the car
    And a gallon of gasoline was a quarter

    I remember the day when a color TV was a luxury
    With three or four channels to choose from for family entertainment
    And the selection was better than 200 channels today

    I remember the day when our phone rang one long ring
    Our next door neighbor’s phone would ring two short rings
    And Mrs. Bradley’s would ring three times

    I remember the day when mail only came in the mailbox
    It would arrive through snow, sleet, hail, or gloom of night
    We always looked forward to the Sear’s Christmas catalog

    I remember the day when the lack of technology existed
    When we had to get up to change the channels
    When we had to go to a movie theater to see a movie
    When we had to pop our popcorn in a soup pot
    When we could see the car engine when we lifted the hood
    When engaging in actual conversations were fulfilling

    I remember the day when people depended on each other
    Families gathered at the dining room table to eat and talk
    And we actually knew that human interaction was all about

    © 2015 Earl Parsons

  6. RJ Clarken

    Technology/Anti-technology

    Our privacy is gone, from code,
    now plugged into intrusive mode.
    Computers, phones – lead back to – what?
    Some hacking, ads, and online smut.
    Technology improves our lives,
    ‘though now our minds converge in hives.
    There’s phishing, malware, angry nut,
    some hacking, ads, and online smut.
    Don’t get me wrong. My digits like
    convenience, but, think finger/dyke.
    You plug one hole, there’s still that glut
    of hacking, ads, and online smut.
    The balance seems to tip away
    from what we want, to takeaway
    by other sources. No rebut:
    re hacking, ads, and online smut.

    ###

  7. seingraham

    Anti-tech

    DETACHED

    While I’m as attached to my attachments as anyone
    I must admit, there are times, I need to be unplugged
    At home, or in the wilds

    Give me a wood-burning fire
    An acoustic guitar, or my sweet Irish drum
    Let me wake to a woodpecker’s thrum
    and fall asleep in a shaft of moonlight
    Lulled by whippoorwills, punctuated
    by a loon pair calling to each other

    Give me enough time living rural
    to forget that I’m basically an urban gal.
    It happens, and I love that.
    I’ll be sad if there comes a time,
    the magic’s gone.

    pro-tech

    LOW TECH

    Belki* is my helpmate, and my iPad’s keyboard
    She makes the exact sounds of an old-fashioned typewriter
    Who would’ve thought with all the available technology
    My most beloved item would be an “app” that performs no
    real function but simply pretends to sound like a
    decades-old typewriter
    A machine that couldn’t do one-tenth of the things my
    table does
    Nevertheless, the clatter of the keys and the ding of
    the carriage return
    Bring with them a touch of nostalgia for yesteryear that’s
    purely inspirational

    *Belki is the nick-name for my Belkin keyboard which is really
    a regular detachable tablet keyboard; the sound app is from
    Hanx-writer, an app invented by Tom Hanks – another who
    loves and misses the sounds that the old electric typewriters
    made.

  8. Sally Jadlow

    Technology Poem

    11/10/15

    I delight in watching
    my technology-challenged person
    pound the keys,
    cry tears of frustration,
    and shout swear-words
    trying to figure out
    one feature
    on a new program
    just installed.
    What joy!

  9. grcran

    Engineered

    Technology strolls, cocky, down the pike
    It looks around, eye-measures, then picks
    Some kind of a fight
    The anti-tech takes counter-measure bite
    Anticipates reversal, beckons
    Techie to the light
    The two do not have meeting of the mind
    Antithesis. The struggle leaving human
    Kind
    Behind

    by gpr crane

    1. ppfautsch24

      Texted
      That vibrated ping that catches your attention,
      and makes all else disappear in the distant
      background. It is the sound that you live to
      hear.
      Camouflage distractions, but once heard; all
      become clear.
      Your eyes promenade over the app filled
      screen.
      It’s luminous light beckons you; rather white,
      blue, or green.
      Somehow it is what you have been waiting
      for all day.
      The ping letting you know what family, friends,
      and Twitter have to say.
      It floats, levitates above all else, technology’s
      greatest hit.
      Text messages…
      By Pamelap

  10. cmariee

    Technology

    Cell phones are ruining face-to-face communication.
    Kindles and online blogs destroy the future of our books.
    Tangible money is becoming obsolete.
    And dating involves a compatible application.
    I know.

    Ipods and digital streaming have crushed MTV.
    Our handwriting is atrocious.
    And we don’t know every capital or how to spell.
    We’ve no need to memorize your phone number.
    I know.

    Virtual video gaming and online chatting
    Have led us to a world of no censorship, no safeties.
    Instant shopping and apps are killing our stores.
    Political conspiracies and negative news are rampant.
    This, I know.

    And yet,
    Deny your kids these tools.
    Tell them to go play outside.
    Rule out gaming, chatting, and invention.
    And this too I know,
    You’ll raise them to do well in your generation.
    You’ll raise them not to cope in their own.

  11. PKP

    Tech Trash

    we trash tech
    gleefully in harmony
    behind our screens
    yet my face burns
    in shame
    at this Thoreau game
    for if not for all this we decry
    never would we have become
    from this me of solitary eye !

    with love for all we can share
    and souls in the screen
    far flung friends
    so very close
    joyful reads and readers
    together

    1. PKP

      apologies for the slapdash quick throwaway poem above – but in reading my attempts from yesterday and reflecting and grateful for the way poetry and poets can connect and share – I felt that in my , and perhaps most, of our rush to be “real” and authentic – the magnificent gift of technology was not given its proper due
      I am quite simply filled with gratitude for the possibility of all of you ..

  12. Tracy Davidson

    Anti-mobiles

    oblivious
    to the world around them
    teenagers –
    noses fixed to their screens
    driving me out of my mind

    busy fingers
    texting tweeting facebooking
    virtual strangers
    all these crowded streets
    and no-one’s talking

  13. Stuart Peacock

    Digital Dust

    All those magical pixies
    That live within the wires
    (Or buzz in the naked air)
    Keep the humans together
    With trickery that transcends
    The irritant of distance.

    We take for granted
    The gifts they have given us.
    To keep old friends close,
    To share stories and passions,
    Simply swallowing it all up
    And inevitably abusing it.

    This isn’t what they wished,
    But they still out hope
    That some still use their gift for good.

  14. lsteadly

    To Be Present

    Seventeen years ago
    we spoke the old fashioned way
    vocally on the phone, though
    portable, and sent building plans
    back and forth through the mail,
    snail not electronic, and when it came
    time to sign, flights
    were required so we could seal
    the deal in cursive with ink
    on some twenty-nine lines
    for our post and beam cottage

    To this day we live
    much the same way
    with a land line since cells
    hardly work well and all
    meals are served at our
    massive farm table
    forget about cable tv
    or satellite dish for here
    we prefer to breathe free
    to live connected and peaceful
    in the first person present

  15. Rumpole

    Three letter acronyms

    I’ve been on my feet all day, sparing with the facts
    Each time I land a decent shot, I thought I could relax
    But each occasion that I put one on, my rival got one back
    If I could get this social media, I’d stop taking so much flak

    SMS and Twitter, but Facebook leads the way
    But when someone asks me “WTF” I don’t know what to say
    Netlingo always leaves me lost, I just don’t have a clue
    When I say WBS, is that me or is it you

    I am a bit old-fashioned; I like to spell it out
    But when I write in upper case, THEY TELL ME NOT TO SHOUT
    All these acronyms I can’t recall, I have to keep a list
    When I ask them to explain again, the Judge is getting pissed

    I’ll give it my best shot; I have to have a go
    I’m usually pretty quick; I’m not usually this slow
    I’ve got my dictionary here; I’m going to do my best
    So get your brain out of neutral, and try this for a test

    BFF, that’s just GR8, please help me abbreviate?
    IMHO you are a whiz, GOYA and try my quiz
    OMG, you’ve gone OT, don’t you know I am myopic
    KIS, I’m short on sight, so BFN, I’ll be back 2nite

    BRB, my train it’s here, LOL, HNF
    But I do not care for your POV, SITD, it STBY
    I’m SOL, I missed the bus, TTYL, I’m going to cuss
    WYWH, to ease the pain, of looking up them all again

    SUP with U, RU OK, IDC, just wanted to say
    BTW BIF BLNT, try the Internet
    ADN I’ll get this stuff, HTH, I won’t be too tough
    BBS, I gotta run, these TLA are so much fun

  16. Pat Walsh

    TV Watching
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    the kids sprawl on
    the rug in the living room
    tapping madly at their
    tiny screens
    as though time itself
    was hovering above them

    eerily quiet but for the
    incessent plinking of
    fingernails on plastic
    the room seems
    emptier somehow with
    the big screen dark

    and I can’t help but
    think of the days
    when I used to stretch
    out on that very spot
    when we’d all watch TV
    instead of it watching us

  17. tunesmiff

    THINGS
    G. Smith (BMI)
    ————-
    Grandad plowed this place with a mule team,
    Daddy went around it on a Deere.
    Things have changed a little bit since way back then;
    We don’t grow corn or cotton around here.

    Uncle Jack tells stories about the old times,
    Laying in the grass – to watch the satellites.
    You could see ’em clear as day against the night sky,
    When the moon and the stars were the only source of light.

    Now we’ve got things they never even dreamed of,
    And we’re better off because of one or two.
    But they had things there’s no way we’d remember,
    If we hadn’t heard about them back in school.

    They got up before the sunrise every morning;
    Worked without a break the whole day through;
    Were in the bed each night before dark thirty,
    And did the things they knew they had to do.

    Today we need to set some smart phone gadget,
    To tell us that we’re running way behind.
    And we stay up later than we know we ought to,
    And wonder why we’re losing our minds.

    Yeah, we’ve got things they never even dreamed of,
    And we’re better off because of one or two.
    But they had things there’s no way we’d remember,
    If we hadn’t heard about them back in school.

    Maybe simpler times were the good old days,
    Or maybe now’s the time that we’ll recall.
    And we’ll find ourselves wishing for these yesterdays,
    Saying they were the simplest times of all.

    Even though,
    They’ll have things we’ll never even dream of,
    And be better off because of one or two.
    And we’ll have things there’s no way they’ll remember,
    If they hadn’t heard about once in school.

    But we’ll have things there’s no way they’ll remember,
    If they hadn’t heard about once in school.

  18. Sara McNulty

    All The Bells and Whistles

    Cells, bells, drones,
    email, Instagram, Facebook.
    Digital scales and cameras,
    clocks with red lights.
    Green light-your computer sleeps,
    while you are awake
    thinking about
    all those things you bought
    on line, on impulse
    because you needed a boost
    at two in the morning.
    Then you discover
    without warning, someone
    else is claiming to be you.
    Now you don’t know who
    you are, and any pretense
    at privacy is a joke.

  19. browdd22

    Social

    I am a screen holding an idea
    I am a device that trumps the delusion of obsolescence
    I am the bane of the generation not accepting
    I am the future for the like-minded
    I am the romance for the star-crossed lovers
    I am what defines your offspring as social
    I am technology and through time and space, you will take me in
    It’s inevitable
    Assimilate

  20. Shennon

    Technically, It’s Math

    Without a calculator
    to complete my math,
    I’d have had
    to face the wrath

    of Mrs. Schlief,
    that rotten shrew.
    She doled out homework,
    but she never knew

    that I couldn’t add
    or divide in my head.
    I relied completely
    on technology instead.

    –ShennonDoah

  21. Kendall A. Bell

    Saving data and brain cells

    I hear the vibration as it sits
    on the plastic charging station –
    notifications from Facebook and
    Twitter, emails from countless
    companies offering discounts
    and birthday freebies. There are
    no text messages and a single
    voice mail – a reminder about
    an impending furnace repair
    appointment. Human interaction has
    disappeared. There are five days
    left away from the commotion and
    noise of work – the forced niceties
    and feigned concern. I will start
    turning off my phone at night,
    start a self imposed exile from
    social media and speaking, and hide
    behind the piles of printed words
    in my office, where disappointment
    is nearly nonexistent.

  22. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    The Process

    Does the process shape the metaphor?
    If i were to carve you in stone,
    would you speak of hardship?
    If I were to whisper you
    into someone’s ear,
    would you be a lullaby?
    You are a collection of zeros and ones and
    you have no end.
    Hidden in plain sight,
    you will live forever.

  23. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Remember When

    We learned our ABC’s,
    had Spelling Bee’s,
    using a dictionary,

    No auto-correct, spell check,

    A science project,
    results on bristol-board display,
    a kitchen experiment gone cray-cray,

    No tutorials on YouTube,

    Around us, we watch,
    our grown children talk,
    text, in the same room,

    No card or board games,

    A childhood memory, reading a book,
    curled in a chair, gramma’s nook,
    Treasurered reminders to share,

    Not on a Facebook timeline.

  24. Janet Rice Carnahan

    BY ANY OTHER NAME

    There once was a device called an IPAD,
    It proved to be the best friend I ever had,
    It would blink me ‘hello’,
    Signaling sunshine or snow,
    Always bringing good news, never bad!

    There once a iPhone named Android,
    Who never lived too long in the void,
    The little green friend,
    Clicking away with no end,
    Being without him I couldn’t avoid.

    There once was a computer named Apple,
    Solid gray, not a hint of dapple,
    It’d light up the screen,
    Really flashy I mean,
    Why it does this, I continue to grapple!

    There once was a gadget called GPS,
    Always giving me directions, I confess,
    Pointing out the way,
    Endlessly, day after day,
    A voice causing nothing but stress!

    Finally one day, I threw them all out,
    I decided it was time to live without,
    A great big deep hole, I dug,
    In truth, they never offered a hug,
    I’m no longer mechanical, either, no doubt!

    Yes, they were helpful to navigate,
    Keeping me on time, never late,
    Yet, in the end they were cold,
    Nothing too warm to hold,
    My peace on mind now, they don’t infiltrate.

  25. Jean Kay

    Thumbs up or down?

    We need more eye contact,
    more thumbs up conversations,
    instead of thumbs and heads down
    which nullifies relations.

    You see it happening everywhere
    families all heads down,
    thumbs active, not conversing.
    Why bother going ‘out on the town’?

    TV’s on during dinner
    so no conversation takes place.
    What are we doing to ourselves,
    we’re becoming a non-human race?

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