The Shrinking of the Lens

I used to open a door and

the square would dissolve behind me 

as I went through it,

the earth’s embrace splaying out

in greeting above and around,

a panorama complete with 

nicotina and straw, jasmine and wood,

skin-caressing breezes, mist

and earthy dry dust, grapevine shade 

mottling my arms in a kinetic 

ever-circling animal print,

sounds of children laughing,

pool splashing, sheep ruminating,

wind shushing the birds’

irrepressible tweets.


Now the names have turned to hyperlinks 

the square has shrunk to the size of a 

viewfinder, a million views being found 

at every moment; the landscape’s

broken down into a million finger-

to-thumb snapshots, the space between

eaten up by countless, nameless, faceless

stranger’s sights.


If I could just step back far enough, it might 

appear as a kind of Magic Eye picture, a Monet

of ads and amateur photography, and 

a figure might spring out from the chaos

reclining on a divan, elegant and serene,

giving me a sly wink as she puts her

feet up on the Beast of Binary Code:

the Spirit of the Times, invisible to 

faces glued to screens.


2 thoughts on “The Shrinking of the Lens

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