First lines: a poem
The internet is an ocean, breathing
a tide of bright noise
into chains of caves where eyes blaze like diodes.
Make yourself an ark of cypress wood
The internet is a walled garden & a wild moor,
it listens more particularly than human ears.
The internet is logical & fallible
jester & judge
delicious & devious; it is beyond this poem.
For the earth is filled with violence
The internet is broken open with each search -
the internet is made of searchers,
its bones are history, its bones are built of treasure,
it speaks with the tongues of the unborn.
Almond, bramble, clover, canary -
All creatures that have the breath of life in them
The internet is cage & sanctuary
filled with bird song, sub-song, locks,
muffled & amplified, distorted & true.
It bears no blood but a many chambered-heart.
Keep them alive with you
Adder, bluebell, conker -
The internet has a complicated, enormous skeleton
that cannot be reassembled.
It builds its bones as we build language,
the way a pearl grows -
Dandelion, fern, hazel -
Keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth
The internet is bound in a dark room, its mouth gagged -
the internet is constantly taking its bandages off & pulling the wadding out of its mouth.
The internet doesn’t have a mouth - it is all mouth.
The internet can sing as the Beluga sings - listen!
Ivy, kingfisher, lavender, lark -
They are given into your hands -
The internet is more compelling than stars above us -
it holds vistas & carcasses & rainbows & gods.
Gods of our making to take apart, re-tell -
the internet is never full.
By this I mean it exists in a state of constant self-pollination -
Minnow, mussel, newt -
Be fruitful and multiply
Its light is a reflection of our light,
its voice our souls singing.
All those beautiful animals waiting to be woken.
Panther, pelican, pansy -
Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything
Raven, starling, stoat -
The internet is asexual & rampantly fertile.
It sends out long tendrils which guide us into the mouths of flowers.
It is infinite as a cell & more various than every little life.
The internet is a vast mirror & we look at it in astonishment
dressing ourselves & undressing, & dressing again.
I have set my rainbow in the clouds
The internet is a story & we are writing the first lines -
Tulip, violet, willow, wren.
Note – This poem of three voices weaves together Biblical phrases from the story of Noah’s Ark; “nature” words that were removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2015 due to cultural changes in language use; and ideas from British children concerning the internet’s position in their lives.