Saturday, June 08, 2013

530 : Who's Manning the Watch?

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #112) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:  

park, page, yard, status, shimmering, spill, 
spewing, thunder, rest, curb, jets, steps

Concurrently, dVerse has the prompt of twins, or entwined poems.

Who's Manning the Watch?

In the shimmering heat, late in the day.
Small dots appear on the horizon.
Birds of prey, perhaps.  

On its pages, real and electronic, 
the media is spewing indignation by the yard 
at the perceived injustices it deigns to see:
The marital status of a footballer, for example,
Or the forlorn hope of a cabinet spill.
Or the washing machine repairman 
who short-changed a housewife in Bentleigh. 
What to do?  Print a picture of a puppy or two.  
Meerkats are also good.
What? The price of parking your car has gone up?
Crisis.  Civilization, as we know it, is collapsing.

The dots in the sky have changed.  
Barely perceptively, they are getting larger.
Suddenly, (these things are not linear), 
they are very, very large indeed.  
And then with a thunderous roar, 
recede to dot like status on the other horizon.
Jets.  Attack fighters.  Killing machines with cross-hairs.
Behind them, they leave the dead.  No trial for them.  
No chance to explain.  
Just dead.
Summary justice, administered to curb dissent.
But, of course, it fails.

The media  are outraged 
A football coach wont resign; 
The pack stake out his home and nag.
The railway crossing that was ‘an accident waiting to happen’ 
but oddly not news prior to the accident,
The council that wont take steps to protect 
the feather-footed rock-pecker from picket fences,
A nude in an art show rouses the fears of art-loving paedophiles 
(where were the wowsers in Reuben’s time?)
Of course we have a page 3 girl. 
She’s not offensive.  
Our readers expect it.

In a courtroom, heavily guarded, 
a small soldier sits, 
surrounded but very much alone.  
He too had seen the cross hairs, 
seen the aftermath of remote diplomacy, 
and had responded as any decent person should.  
And will suffer for it for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile the media is in an uproar.  
Apparently daylight saving is causing curtains to fade. 

© J Cosmo Newbery 2013
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  1. And sadly far too many people react (overeact) to the media reports. And far to few people question what they are told...

  2. Everything is reported on but the daily deaths in Afghanistan, and other places where boots are on the ground and jets are in the air. Nice contrast between the birds and jets. Thank you for this piece. I enjoyed every word. You shed light where it needs to be cast.

  3. In focus, on pointe, compelling, and lyric. Thank you for this. ~ M

  4. ha. its the outlandishness of what we call the news, mixed with the crazy bit of reality we have created and it just keeps getting a bit more bizarre...i feel for the feather rooted rock peckers of the world...smiles...

  5. AnonymousJune 09, 2013

    A very effective poem - you are right at the disconnects - the focus on infotainment - short on both the info and the entertainment - you switch back and forth very fluidly and with great timing, thanks. k .

  6. Fascinating read and spot on commentary of the media.

  7. You have caught the irony and hypocrisy of modern media hype and catastrophic politics to perfection. I applaud you for this poem, and shout "encore"

  8. No news is good news...? Maybe that's why some papers don't contain any...

  9. Love how you weave the tabloids new reports with the real news of war and its consequences -

  10. Message clear.....and needed!

  11. You really express the duality of our media-coerced world--thanks for the last stanza of the most forgotten man in America right now, and for the wry eye on hypocrisy this presents.It's only news when they say its news, and only if it sells product. Meanwhile, the blood flows like an underground river, sustaining a living world of nightmare.

  12. Message received and well-understood.

    Our priorities are all wrong, so very wrong. Yesterdays news interests us not...

    Anna :o[

  13. I love your take on the wordle words. It was truly unexpected and lovely.

  14. Irony and hypocrisy captured quite well in this write, J.


  15. AnonymousJune 10, 2013

    Yes the important things get swept under the frivolous in the media... and one small soldier sits in a court room...yeah our priorities are up in the air. Great Write!

  16. This is spot on! You captured the craziness of the media in our society in the 21st C.

  17. The secret with newspapers is to read them in a cafe so you haven't wasted your own money. They are of course suffering death throws, sadly TV is not much better.

  18. Wow! The dark side laid bare. Clever title! I can't but agree.

  19. oh my - sometimes reading or watching the news is just crazy and you wonder what they all come up with - the sad thing is that we usually think they're unbiased and neutral and if they say it's like this and that, it is like this and that - but talking to different people from different countries about events there and reading the media versions of it - the gap can be quite big - well penned

  20. I laughed and I sighed. So true and so sad, really.

  21. Media frenzy is crazy sometimes, like the lipping of the newspaper, every page is different. very well captured here

  22. Wow! Spot on! I love the contrast between what we obsess over and what we ignore. Hypocrisy exposed. Great write!

  23. AnonymousJune 15, 2013

    We definitely have some messed up priorities. It's amazing how different a story is told depending on the country you are in and the agenda. Very intelligent and thought-provoking work


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