A collection of poetry that highlights many of the problems facing humanity in the world today and the dystopian direction society is sleepwalking towards.
These are poems about artificial intelligence, childhood, death, nature, Welsh independence, culture, race, immigration, travel and love.
“Lewis does not take a side but instead immerses us in a subject. He is a keen observer who can effortlessly dissect uncomfortable truths and never shies away from the more challenging issues of the day.” – R James
‘The skippers of those Newport ships
would be working for NGOs today.’
Rainbow heads were nodding –
our self-coagulated melting pot,
loitering at dusk on the terrace
of the Africa Hotel, Stone Town, Zanzibar.
I’m sipping beer between Burton brawls
and iPad news from Europe.
‘Aye, like those wretched mudcrawlers,
fleeing the famine in Ireland,
and have you guys not seen that film
– Black 47 – really good movie?’
A redhead girl points out that
those immigrants were starving
and they brought their women
and children with them too.
Rebellion is quickly quashed
as the TV screen screams an answer in real time –
a photograph of a dead toddler
on a European beach.
/ S h u s h f o r a s e c o n d… /
‘Yep, even today the Usk
can throw up bones from the past –
the crushed skull of a gypsy lass,
the mangled femur of a child.’
Meanwhile on another embankment,
Buddha-fat politicians are dining
on pork medallions as rain outside
slowly drizzles down like cider, cream
and mustard. Life and death decisions
are casually clicked between courses.
‘After all we must keep our borders
safe from the Berber hordes!’
The sun has set now on the Indian Ocean.
Some of us order again, determined
to push on through the mud
of our own personal mosquito nights.
Watching the vultures soar high
above the heat of Plaza Vieja
I make my way over quiet wooden streets,
the stone and marble cool.
Along San Juan De Dios after Parc Cervantes
pick up a Namibian poster from the revolutionary bookstore,
post Che, late 70s,
amble down O’Reilly, cross to Obispo,
the beat surrounding.
Laughing with José I pop into Casa Blanca,
where the mojitos are sweet.
The house band is loud inside El Floridita,
I’m heading west though.
My usual table is tiled with local art,
the music rocking as the beer goes down smooth.
Inglaterra is your living room; day or dawn.
‘Hey Eduardo, how’s business today?’
We smile as an Instagram model from some shit hole
in Europe poses for photographs in the back seat
of his Buick, a ‘54 I think.
The night is reaching in slow and warm now.
I’m clocking the working girls,
under arches, leaning on pillars,
sat across the floor, beautiful and black,
amigos with bellboys, sniffing German Euros
as the vultures hover off the coast now.
When the sun sets for the next few months
I’ll think of you sat on the Malecon.
Salt in your hair, crossed legs,
the wind rushing in from the ocean.
dashing falcon riding the treeline
buff breast, orange-tinted
shift from earth to air
yellow legs, hooked beak
screeching like a child’s toy
our smallest killer
hunter and arrow
shift from birch to grass
fearless in the face of eagles
able aviator aerial ace
sailing across a large white cloud
duck or dove, sparrow or quail
none is safe under a lid of leaves
shift from summer to snow
a strand of light
slimmer than a spider’s web
blood on the altar fencepost
pigeon hawk sickle claw
shift from forest to sea
beyond the waving willow limbs
fast-flying Cudyll Bach
ringing a Skylark higher
leaf and light sorcerer
shift from sunshine to sky
“Welsh Poet Warns Of Dystopian Future
Never one to avoid uncomfortable truths, Welsh writer and photographer Dave Lewis has just released Algorithm, his latest brutally honest, searing, wide-reaching and masterful poetry collection.
The epic opening poem lays bare many of the negative aspects of the technological revolution by focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), social media, robotics and the Internet of Things amongst others.
‘They’ll use Halloween, dead queen, gasoline and obscene
to flog you widescreen, morphine, coffee beans and vaccine
before Frankenstein intervenes with quarantine and guillotine
and then it’s too late to read about it in a time machine magazine…’
With a rich illuminating hi-tech rhyme and wordplay onslaught, he paints the Orwellian future waiting for us if we do not make a stand. Particularly concerning is how we freely give away our most valuable possession – our data! We post on Facebook, buy from Amazon, search on Google gifting personal goldmines to multinationals who use this information to sell us more stuff we don’t need and incidentally influence our thinking and behaviour in a covert way. Dave Lewis suggests the battle has not only begun but is raging out of control. He offers a solution and advocates reigning in our dependence on the online world, and going off-grid and starting to reconnect with nature.
‘Change is scary, there’s no doubt about that,
so start with a tech detox, a mind reformat.
Get back to nature, go partly off-grid,
hide from electricity and their takeover bid.
Seek out the secret woods, kill the code,
pull off the main road before you download.
Leave the cult of self, cut the feedback loop,
flee the chicken coop with an intact blood group.
Turn off Alexa, resist the death of culture
as governments try to steal our agriculture.’
This wide-ranging collection tackles so many pertinent issues. With small boats and asylum seekers in the news every week Lewis tackles mass immigration head-on. Two contrasting views appear in two separate poems; one ‘for’, one ‘against’ but these are not the poet’s opinions simply astute observations on an impossible situation. The F Scott Fitzgerald quote at the start of the book sums up many peoples, and politicians, reluctance to see the opposite viewpoint – arguably the only way real solutions are ever found.
‘Rebellion is quickly quashed
as the TV screen screams an answer in real-time –
a photograph of a dead toddler
on a European beach.’
Dave Lewis’s collection delves into so many pasts and presents. His innocent upbringing in the Welsh valleys, travels around Cuba, (I heard the music and tasted the rum) the life of the Spanish poet Lorca, time spent with artists from Tangier, Che Guevara seen through Batman in the sixties, Welsh independence a la Nina Simone, the beauty of the natural world and lost love.
‘I ain’t got no country, ain’t got no houses
Ain’t got no taxes, ain’t got no cash
Ain’t got no work, ain’t got no jobs
Ain’t got no factories, ain’t got no coal
Ain’t got no government’
Whilst many people glaze over and switch off at the mention of poetry this book is a wake-up call to other writers. The poetry is easily absorbed and invites us into a story we are part of. And who knows, following his advice will certainly save you money and might even save your life when Terminator comes calling for you…”
‘young men marching
hell before heaven
the grass is red’
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