Posted by: David Harley | April 5, 2013


I live in a laptop,
but not burned into an EPROM
or hiding behind the ESC key:
my rumoured corporeal existence is confirmed
at meetings, conferences, supermarkets and restaurants.

I exist in a vacuum tube labelled “you have mail”,
a tiny, tinny voice in your handset.

From my lighthouse, I answer distress calls;
from my signal box I route messages and clear blockages;
from my ivory tower I dispense wisdom and prescribe conduct.
On my island within an island, beyond my Chinese seawall,
I search the shore for bottled messages.

I am the genie of the laptop.
What is your command?

©David Harley/Small Blue-Green World 2006

This is one of those writing snippets that is vaguely connected to what I do for a living  (or did: I was running the NHS Threat Assessment Centre at the time it was written) but is definitely not a security blog. What it is I’m not sure: it doesn’t exactly feel like verse, but it looked really ugly typed out as unformatted prose. 🙂


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