Nearly a century ago
We began our flight
From the page to the air,
The print yielding to waves
That brought us voices and music
And later moving images
On a glass tube in the parlor.

We could buy plastic discs as well
And spin melodies out of them.
Then the discs became
A long brown ribbon
Spooled up and encased,
And its dulcet strains
Or coarse chords
Unspooled themselves
In a box we could carry around.

When the zeroes and ones came,
It was a mere matter
Of falling sands
Before the letters and pictures and song
Took flight themselves
To land in our little rectangles
And divert our eyes
And ears
And souls
From the sacred presence of ourselves.

When we truly choose, the moment is ours.

6 thoughts on “Reclaimed

  1. Love this. You have to be a person of a certain age to understand it and fondly go back in time. You captured the transitions beautifully. My minds eye even saw my respooling pencil! 😂
    I wonder if my 7th-graders would be able to figure out it’s meaning.

  2. Very thought provoking post. We have worked ourselves away from the printed word in so many ways. It’s sad that children today are given the images of characters instead of imagining them from scratch like we did. Fascinating to think of the sequential evolution you have given!

    1. Thanks, Kim! I find that today even most adults have moved away from print. I suppose I have nothing against the other media; it would merely be more healthy for us to have everything in its proper proportion.

  3. In a word: Alas! I remember walking to Woolco when I was twelve or thirteen to buy a 45 record for, what, 99 cents? and oh – that brings back memories of the Panasonic Panapet radio (round, looked like a robot face). I digress… what strikes me deepest here in your poem is our eyes, ears, and souls being diverted from “the sacred presence of ourselves” and “When we truly choose, the moment is ours” – powerful truths. I can’t abide much social media for just these reasons. Too much clamor for me. I remember lingering over books as a child…same goes for replaying one’s favorite music. Have we forgotten good lingering? Your words stir so many thoughts!

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