Poem: Efficiencies


At night, you lay on the sofa.
You stare at the ceiling. Or
you shut your eyes, appearing to do
nothing, your mind set adrift
is working harder than the illusion,
thinking through tools, old and new,
trying to reclaim the essence
while living in a busy, noisy now.

It is not quite meditation.
No matter that time is lost.
No matter any of the appearances.
No, you are thinking through a lifetime
of tools and failures and new tools
and mixing of time zones in your life.
Scenes and experiments.
Conversations and caresses.
A few slaps in the face.
A bit of blood left on the table

as you pick the wrong tool
for the wrong job. It is your truth,
this experimenting, this rabid belief
that you have things to offer that are,
if not unique, at least well crafted.

They are coming for you. You know this.
One by one the things you love die,
or are replaced with something more appealing,
but perhaps, less true.
At times you have been fortunate
with new magic finding you in time.
At times you have been less fortunate.
Left alone to flounder
until you regained your ability to swim.

All of which leads to this,
a museum full of old tools,
and a choice of which to use,
which are still useful even if they are not

About this poem

The picture was taken in a museum made out of a 19th-century gun factory. A place that has lessons about the huge change in society because of the industrial revolution.

We are in the beginning stages of another such change, perhaps the most important since that move to industrialization. The age of AI will take society to a new place. They were not ready then. We are not ready now. My hope is that I live long enough to see how we make it work.

I often lie down and simple let my mind thing. Wander. Reconfigure. Look back. Release. It is not exactly meditation, but it helps me live a better, more intentional life. And it takes empty time for it to happen.

All of that = this poem.



  1. A sound observation, Tom. Creativity will never be replaced by computer generated content, but a better question is will the larger audience know, or care about, the difference.

    Interesting photo…an automated lathe?

    • Actually, the clock thing at the foreground has nothing to do with the Lathe. Not connected in any way. Both are very 19th century. Not exactly automated, but industrial.

      I am not sure how the whole AI thing will play out. If creativity comes from the spirit, then no, AI can’t replace it. But it can create a reasonable facsimilie that many people will think of as creativity. I think it will require us to “sell” creativity in a new way, to set it apart. It’s going to be an interesting couple of decades!

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