Tag Archives: tools

Random Theory: cyhydedd naw ban

No bright, bleeding edge technology
can by itself inspire us to see
beyond the limitations that bind
us to solutions posed by old minds,
gurus and mentors with rigid ways,
and coaches still running ancient plays.

The revolution cannot be fought
using hackneyed strategy still taught
in broken and ineffective schools,
who at best offer us simple tools.
We need to seek beyond the hammer;
relearn to speak using new grammar.

But in the end, no shortcut or device
grants understanding of work, or price,
nor strips away a rigid mindset;
artificial means are not there yet.
What must be done requires human acts
that integrate ideas and facts,
creating blueprints for the future, now,
out of something unknown, new, somehow.

To that creation, our tools and toys
may add flash, bells, whistles, and some noise
as mere ways for focusing the brain.
Our duty to thinking must remain
so that the choices we weigh and rank
leave in their outcomes, ourselves to thank.

And revolution, if it then comes,
some fresh distribution of stale crumbs
amongst the cannon fodder still here?
How it will change the world is unclear.
The only certainty is still death;
the randomness of life is what’s left.

16 FEB 2017

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On Tools

What future use will be our tools
for building greater monuments,
technologies to reach beyond
our yesterday capacity,
if all that drives tomorrow’s will
is to create for their own sake
more grand machines to take the place
of what was once achieved with hands?

What purpose, past mere science gained,
will drive the new mechanics’ soul
to strive outside the here and now
of knowledge limited to cogs,
efficiencies and labor’s yield?

Posterity will need more art
than engineering can provide;
lest it learn just technology
that serves as means to many ends,
and can be turned cruel and unjust
by pure philosophy’s intent.

What good these tools, these saws and nails,
these plows and drills, these guns and bombs,
without instructions for their use
that clearly spell the dangers out?

What will our far descendants know
of how we brought these things to bear
in carving out a worthwhile world,
one nurtured carefully and shared,
if all we choose to leave behind
is how to build, not reasons why?

22 MAY 2007

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Wagner’s House on Lake Lucerne

Away from the bustle of the lakefront trade
across the wide expanse of clouded blue
on a small knot of land pushed out into the bay
behind a copse of trees down the gravel lane –
the house sits small and squat, not much
to look at from the outside, save for the flowerbeds,
its paint a nondescript light brown,
the doors and windows dark
their shades drawn shut to block the light
that seeks to fade and wash away the past.

And there inside, the tools and triumphs
of the man are kept, pristine,
their chronologic sense in tact
supported by small cards, with facts
giving no sense of the great expanse of sound
that must have soaked in every pore
of this house, once. Compared to that experience,
the reverent silence of the current guests

must seem so strange to these thick walls,
their very atoms once beseiged with Music,
day and night. And all the windows closed,
to cloak the rooms with graveyard pall;
the only sound the soothing hiss
of central air pushed through hidden vents.

I longed to touch the discolored keys
of the grand piano trapped behind the guide rope
aching to fill the house with raucous delight
to play so loudly that the tourists
buying chocolates in the square across the lake
crowding past the muraled walls
where Goethe sat impoverished, writing
the Sorrows of Young Werther
would look across the lake and wonder
at the sound, and stop their haggling.

When Goethe met Wagner’s hero, Ludwig,
it was in Switzerland. So strange that now
the house where Richard worked his last
should sound like the world of Beethoven in the end:
filled with the dull roar of silence,
the sounds of life, shouting out across the lake,
filtered through a stifling gauze
that makes the world seem unfit
for heroes that are not dead.

14 MAY 2004

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