Thursday 18 July 2019

With you

We are the invisible, inaudible throng in the room
with you,
murmuring, beckoning, shouting, demanding
instant attention.
We are all more important than that person in front of you,
your child, your partner, your parent, your colleague, your friend
with the empty hands.
We are the silent directors of every situation.
With you
as you eat one-handed. 
(Honoured guests at the table)
With you 
in the loo.
(Nobody can bother us there)
With you
tugging your sleeve at school
and when you get home.
(There's no getting away from us ;)
With you
at work, feeding you vital information.
(We have so much to tell you)
Barking orders
(Action it now!)
With you
in bed, wheedling for just one more minute,
one more hour in our blue lit world.
With you 
at your waking yelling, 
'Catch up! catch up!'
With you
as you walk your muted child
(earphones guarantee that)
with the empty hands
outfacing in a buggy.
With you
in your Pilates class calling,
'Urgent! Urgent!' from your bag.
With you in the cinema, theatre, concert hall
glowing in your lap.
With you 
as you collide on the pavements.
With you 
as you walk, eyes cast down, across the road.
With you
as you drive, 
flashing and pinging from the passenger seat
(we'd rather be in your hand -
or balance us on the steering wheel why not?)
With you 
wedged tight into your neck
if your hands are unavailable.
With you 
in that one brief, unoccupied moment
(it's scary isn't it?)
'Check! Check!'

'Look down at us.'
Not up at that boring person
with the two empty hands in front of you,
your child, your partner, your parent, your colleague, your friend.
What have they to offer?
Can they play endless games, 
sing any song,
find you a mate,
'Swipe! Swipe!' 
(we have thousands to show you -
some of them real!)
feed you News! News! News!
tell you the capital of Burkina Faso,
(go check - you need to know NOW. It's so funny!)
give you the latest celeb gossip,
show you comical pets,
their cute children,
(even when they are asleep and all unknowing
that the world is peering in)
their better clothes,
better make up,
better bodies,
better food,
better homes,
better gardens,
better holidays,
better friends?

'Shop! Shop!'
(you can have it now!)
'Talk to us!'
'Tweet! Pin! Snap! Blog if you still do!'
Made a cake?
'Gram it!'
'Scroll! Scroll!'
We made cakes too!
That road will never end.

We are with you.
Not sure you are there?
We'll show you yourselfie.
'Smiley face!'

And if we die,
(you might drop us in the bath)
and we cannot be with you?
What then?
How will you survive?
What will you do
with your silent empty head,
your two empty hands?

Hello caller.
This is the operator.
Trying to connect you.
Someone will be
with you.


  1. But have you tried to find a 'Phone box?

    1. Almost obsolete and they were pretty skanky when you could find them. We will never be going back I know. But the mobile phone has become so much else and society's behaviour has changed radically because of it.

  2. I use mine to receive calls, rarely make them or texts. I am happy.

  3. Perfectly capturing the frenetic pace of life with a mobile---if we allow it. Great work, Lucille.

  4. Wonderfully expressed Lucille! I have a draft blog post on the same topic, but I think yours says it better. We do actually still have a phone box in our village, used I believe by just one man who lives without much in the way of technology, and walks a few miles to it once a month or so to telephone a friend in France... what that costs I shudder to think. I released some bees from it the other day and saw a sign dated 2011 giving notice that the phone box was being considered for removal...

  5. I absolutely love this - what an accurate picture of how these devices rule our everyday life. I recently started a job where the security means I have no access to my mobile phone while at work - what a release. I thought I didn't use it much but apparently I did. A real eye opener and I have cut down on using it out of work considerably.

  6. So true! Well expressed, Lucille.

  7. Mine gets neglected, switched off, a lot. But I don't NEED to keep in touch with people I am responsible for, I can, catch you ... later.
    It's so odd now, to see pairs, groups, families - each one bowed in worship over their cell phone, or performing a selfie.

    1. Bowed in worship is exactly right. It is an attitude of prayer.