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Hybrid Vigor

uploaded: Fri, May 31, 2013 @ 8:18 AM last modified: Fri, May 31, 2013 @ 8:20 AM  (add)
FeaturingAbstract Audio (the artist formerly known as Citizen_XO)
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This was one of my early poems (13 years ago!), never “book-printed” but published on David Barnes’ pioneering Australian poetry website PoetryDownUnder.
It came into my head when I heard Citizen X0’s Synergistic Effects mix featuring an amazing encyclopedic vocal which dovetailed aurally and philosophically with my original poem about The Internet and Life.
The poetry form is called the Sestina. (If you look at the last word of each line you’ll get the pattern.) The pure vocal’s there as a pella if you’d like to make a fresh start.

Frustrated by the lack of kilobytes per second
I closed the screen and took a walk outside
And pondered on the pace of progress and the contrast
Between the cyberworld and natural life.
Between four painted walls I’d been enclosed for days
The portal to a fast, exciting place

But when it slowed and stalled, I sought a calmer place
The first space fake, more natural the second
No flashing light, nor speed, the minutes passed as days
In there the pace is forced; it seems too still outside
The sun is on my back, and somewhere, subtle life
As giant gum trees, sky and hills contrast.

The cyberworld seems slick and nature dull by contrast
But life reveals reverse in Time and Place.
My physical environment was swollen full of life
A lizard darted out for one brief second
Devouring insects. And now outside
I began a train of thought that lasted days.

For Life is more complex than the tools of recent days
Complex living systems and computer ones contrast
A living system’s self-contained, it needs nought from outside
Computers need external help, so everything’s in place.
The ecosystem wins, computers running second,
Machines must be maintained, but not so Life.

Hydrogen and carbon plus oxygen makes life,
Amino acids, DNA evolve through countless days
To replicate themselves each passing second
The living system grows itself and makes its own contrast
Becoming ever complex more, in Time as well as Place,
Evolving with the changes from outside.

A patch of barren soil takes biota from outside
And soon grows moss or other forms of life
Then fungi, grass or lichens are covering the place
The process, ever-complex, starts in days.
Taller shrubs and trees in later marked contrast
Succeed the first, a complicated second.

I imagined for a second, an end to human life.
Ten thousand years elapsed outside in days.
My lawn a forest, my room a wasted place…

Rob Walker, 17/6/2000

Contents of ZIP Archive: zip

  • /WebZip/Hybrid Vigor.mp3 (5.09MB)
  • /WebZip/The Web.mp3 (3.27MB)
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"Hybrid Vigor"
by robwalkerpoet

2013 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution (3.0)

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