Poetry - September 2015

I Have Played Atari Today

Back in the 1980s
When I was growing up as a child
I had the console a lot of people had
Which drove the advertisers wild
It was the Atari 2600 console
Which despite its limited memory
Had so many classic games released
That made you enjoy them with glee
A few weeks back a colleague said to me
He was clearing it out if I wanted it
I was very grateful for the donation
And got home one day to try it
It all worked once I got a power adapter
Soon I was aiming for the lap record
On Pole Position, before then blasting
Everything in sight on Phoenix by accord
The memories came flooding back
How I used to be good at some games
Playing through with the classic black stick
Knowing the patterns and the game's ways
I managed to buy some more games recently
And nothing has lost any of its appeal
Everything works well and plays properly
Proving it's the gameplay which is the real deal.

(Sometimes it's good to go back and remember just why you fell in love with classic computer gaming in the first place. The Atari 2600 is a good place to start and is a good addition to the collection - and I have the Activision Decathlon too - hurrah to that.)

Rage Against The ATM Machine

Some of those that are bankers
Set up machines just like wankers
Some machines that give money
Respond with text that isn't funny
Some of those buttons don't work
It drives you up the wall and beserk
Some of those that are ATM
Just won't work when you want them
Cashing in the name of...
Cashing in the name of...
And now it don't do what it ought to
It just won't give you the cash, no
And now it don't do what it ought to
It refuses to pay out, yo
Those that work are just to rare
You anger is that cross to bear
Hit the machine to make it work
But failure to do so just drives you beserk
ATM I won't do what you tell me
ATM I won't do what you tell me..

(The amount of frustration I've seen when a cash machine (ATM) doesn't work. In fact one such incident in the news had the headline "Rage Against The ATM Machine" which was the inspiration - that and the classic RATM track "Killing in the Name" of course.)


Heading up North I go
On the West Coast Main Line
Skirting around the Lake District
Seeing the wilderness of the hills
The bleak skies loom overhead
Giving way to the sunshine
As the morning rises through the mist
From an elevated position
Alongside the M6 motorway
The sky clears and trees line the hills
With nothing else for company
As the countryside is so unspoilt
The sheep graze in the flat fields
The cows saunter to their feed
Everything seems right in wilderness
As if nothing could spoil that view
As the train heads towards Carlisle
The wilderness is left behind
But left to enjoy for everyone
As the train gives you a window view.

(There's some beautiful countryside and unspoilt wilderness, especially between Oxenholme and Carlisle, and noticed this on the way to Edinburgh again recently.)

Press Pause

The rain falls in the city
The cobbled streets shimmer
There's a moment to escape
All of the festival goings on
As I head to a little coffee shop
Just close to the University
Where the emphasis is cosy
And the atmosphere is relaxed
I take a latte in a bright blue mug
That feels like I should be at home
Admiring the view from the window
Staring out to the world
The pause is just what I needed
And it's one I treasure so much
After a journey of discovery
Press Coffee's just the place.

(If you're in Edinburgh, head to Press Coffee close to the University, it's just the right sort of place to pause, have coffee and relax.)

Festival Haiku

Endless flyers are
Given out on the Royal Mile
Far too much to choose.

(Unless you're prepared, the amount of flyers being given away in Edinburgh for the Fringe can be somewhat bewildering....)