Author Archives: stevedsmart

About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is an information designer, poet and artist.

Now there is a wire

Now there is a wire

~~ So there is a wire now. ~~ Step back, rethink. ~~ Now there is a wire. ~~
Before, for thirty years,
there were only posts.
Posts with old tales
of once-upon-a-fence.

Like the empty posts
in empty places,
high lines in the hills,
cast iron sentinels in
Victorian picturesque,
secure verticals
of redundant limitation.

Or eroded wooden
posts, wind riven
Giacometti men,
weird signs or saviours,
misty day markers,
wires all unstrung,
silent to the gale.

But here now,
a single wire,
not even barbed,
a margin for stock
herded to pasture,
one galvanised line,
not a problem,
stepped over with ease.

Is it only because,
white haired as I am,
I still want to skip
like an unruly child,
that it rankles so,
that
now there is a wire?

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Turing true

Turing true

Chatting to tech support
I glibly key: Are you a bot?
remote assistance returns:
That’d be quite something!

Some day will that question
define an instance of class:
substratist[human, foolish, old].

I hesitate some cycles,
query not quite resolved.
Has he just passed the test,
have I already failed?


Blog of the month

Federation of Writers Scotland have a feature called ‘Blog of the month’, and I’m delighted that this month’s blog is Subjects, objects, verbs. FWS’s editor asked me this:

“… you have provided a brief note on the blog’s genesis, I wonder if you could expand that a bit – what your aim is in creating the blog, how do you hope it might affect readers?”

That’s an excellent shot across the bows, I thought! Straight to the heart of the matter – just what am I doing here, friends, and what are you getting out of it?

I had a long think, and tried to write a reply that was honest, and as b.s. free as I could manage. You can read my reply here…

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Obstinacy

Obstinacy

A tree shines brightly
near the Allt Glas-Doire,
by the coffin road.

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Call 0337

An odd source of inspiration. A one line help desk call made the first line of this poem. Just a wee bit o nonsense…

Call 0337:
About the printer on the first floor

The printer on the first floor in the main open space has no yellow.

It just doesn’t know how to quit.

The printer on the first floor in the main open space has no blue.

It’s always got a good word to say.

The printer on the first floor in the main open space has no red.

It’s true, I’ve never seen it lose the rag.

The printer on the first floor in the main open space has no black.

Really, I mean, doesn’t everyone have a dark side?

The printer on the first floor in the main open space has no paper.

Sorry – was this the last sheet?

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Walking out the words

Back in December I posted about The Curlew publishing one of my poems called ‘Horizoned’. Recently the editor got in touch with me to ask about using the poem for some teaching she is planning, and if I could record something about my motivation in making this kind of poem. I was delighted to do this of course, but I thought it might be fun to try to show something about what goes into some of my ‘wandering’ poems.

Really I wanted to take people on a wee walk, because there is something about being there (and getting there!) that is essentially important. An aspect of embodied poetry perhaps.

There’s a long tradition of walking poets – the Wordsworths and Bashō prominent among them. When I googled about the topic I found some fantastic work by Mike Collier of the University of Sunderland which is well worth a look.

Here is my wee piece, with a reading at the end. I tried to cover the questions of what and why seriously, but answering using images, sound and physical effort(!) as well as words. I hope the result is entertaining as well as informative…

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More posts about walking.

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Morning post

Morning post

hoarfrosted contours
time served by seasons
in another life
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