Memory Buffer Full

There isn’t half some rubbish
goes flowing through my mind
If a doctor could examine it
I wonder what she’d find?
I really wish I could channel it,
try to make things better
Or even sit upon a chair
and write my Mum a letter

The taps are always open
it’s like an endless flow
everything get’s washed away
and my ideas never grow
I tried hard to stop and meditate,
like that Buddha fellow
But I didn’t reach Nirvana
and it only made me mellow

Technology isn’t helping
my message box is full
I’m gonna change my identity
and go and live in Hull
Or maybe California
where they say the living is easy
or up a’top a mountain
where the wind is nice and breezy

That at least would clear my head
and help me concentrate
But then I’d miss those little chats
and coffee with my mate
Perhaps I need some time to think
and clear my mental bin
Then with all that space I make,
I could fit more rubbish in

Peter Roe
All Rights Reserved

Is It Too Late To Be Writing Poetry?

I’m tired and I just can’t stop yawning
It’s stupid o’clock in the bloody morning

We will just have to wait and see
If it’s too late to be writing poetry?

I really need some divine intervention
perhaps an elixir of lyrical inspiration

I drifted and snoozed and finally slumped
and only woke when my head got bumped!

Perhaps a surgeon would do instead
To remove this keyboard from my head

The Worlds Gone Digital But My Mum’s Still Analog

We have entered a new age of digital information

That demands our time and unlimited interaction

Our smartphones with all their chirping and squawking

Have us clicking and ticking and tweeting and talking

Our personal information, our words and our thoughts

Are sent through technology as ones and as noughts

And our social calendar is not defined any more

By an impromptu, but analog, knock on the door

The world may had gone and caught the digital bug

But my arms are still analog and my Mum needs a hug

The Digital Frontier – Bullshit Two Point Zero

We get our news in headlines and trending quotes
Despotic Tyrants hack computers to sway our votes
Egomaniacs trump their worth from their ivory towers
Politicians line their pockets with money that is ours
Whilst the fat cat bankers and the Global Corporation
Ruin our economies and sell our personal information

It seems the Arab Spring has sprung and broken
And Twits and Tweets though loud and outspoken
Have failed to cast an illuminating light
On the refugees and their desperate plight

But we all did our bit, clicked and ticked and joined a group
That added our opinion and thoughts to the digital soup
So is technology backing a new wave of Cyber-Activation?
Is this really People Power… or just Human Corporatisation?

Peter Roe
December 2016
All Rights Reserved

First Bytes in Computing

I bunked off school at age twelve to watch a crane install a computer through the roof of a local hauliers. Ever since I have had an unending attraction to all things technological.

Later in Computer Studies we still learnt about punchcards but 1977 was a year of change. The first microprocessor computer I actually touched was nothing more than a circuit board and processor. When one of the other kids managed to make it smoke by giving it a divide by zero command I was hooked.

So at sixteen I did a brief stint as a lab technician before joining the Air Force in Air Traffic Control. This brought me into contact with computers in the workplace and this amazing contraption the size of a wardrobe called a MuFax. We used to have to test it everyday but you could send an A4 page of words, a photo or a diagram in something less than newspaper quality but it took up to 10 minutes. It was mostly ‘tested’ with funny drawings or inspirational quotes, I think these were the early memes of our military network.

We also used a computer system for other purposes but on the over night shifts we sometimes chatted with other operators at bases in Scotland. This was by means of a simple line of text typed into the bottom of the screen and their reply displayed at the top. I am not sure if it was even stored anywhere but it was an early prelude to things like Instant Messengers.

Concurrent with this there was a micro revolution and Sir Clive Sinclair brought us the ZX81 and The Spectrum. I remember a crowd of us around a 16k ZX81 playing Football Manager. Every so often one of us would go off to perform his guard duty or other task but always straight back to have one more go! The Cold War wasn’t quite so hot anymore but that would have been a good summer for the Russians to invade!

I taught myself Basic and then took a couple of RAF computer courses. I came out of the Air Force and managed to get a place on a TOPS computer training course in Manchester where I learnt about boring business languages like COBOL and RPG2. Actually the whole school algebra thing suddenly made sense. Now I even knew how to apply it in the real world.

So jobs came and went but my one constant was computers. As a hobbyist and as an operator, implementor and champion. Through vocational computer courses over the years I finally found myself applying my knowledge as web-designer, a trainer and network manager at a University in The Netherlands.

Whilst working there just before the millennium turned over, I started a degree in Computing and Media and one of my elective courses was Poetry. Something I had played with for years but my professor lit a fire underneath me. I was revisiting old stuff, rewriting, creating and renewing my passion for poetry and writing.

What did I write about? Things that amused or inspired me, technology, peoples relationships with computers, the internet and random stuff.

Later on my return to the UK, I became involved in Secondary Education in film making and media but particularly in a project  with a colleague that we called Films for Learning. Some of the articles I wrote at the time may be included in this collection. Not poetry but an insight into what I was seeing and how inspiring it was to work with creative students.

I shared a chapbook of my poems with my Father and he said I reminded him of Ogden Nash. “Who’s Ogden Nash?” I said. Later I went off to the bookstore and found a suitable volume and this interchange with my Father was the trigger that started a real War of Words. An exchange of poetastery where rapid fire poems were exchanged through email that dragged many of my siblings into a Poetry War!

Thats just about it, I have always had a passion for poems and technology and hopefully I managed to light some fires of my own along the way. This collection is a glimpse inside my head and I hope it surprises some of those people who only ever knew me as  ‘The Computer Guy’ who came to sort out their computer problems.

March 2016
Peter Roe

Hard Driving

I am the Techno-Shaman
I live in  a Haych-Tee Tee-Pee

Got myself a dotcom internet Address
Got myself some of that Eee-mail
Got myself an Eye-Ess-Pee
With loads of Kay-Bee-Pease
I’m rammed up
Turned on
High on E
Hard driving on the information super highway

Cruising for a link
A HOT HOT You-Are-ELL
My Eye-Ess-Dee-En is running hot
My Pee-See-Eye can really fly
My hardwares hard
and my softwares NOT

Got myself a dotcom internet Address
Got myself some of that Eee-mail
Ee-chat, Eye-See-Q
I’m ‘virtually’ yours
I’m rammed up
I’m turned on
I’m high on E
I’m Hard driving
Cruising on the information super-highway

Peter Roe
All Rights Reserved