Entitled

The biggest mistake
Anyone can make
Is to think
They are indispensable

Your actions to date
Regardless of fate
Have been indefensible

We reap what we sow
Encourage others to go
But what exactly
Do you know?

Same thing for years
Brandishing transparent spears
Could get up and go

Buried deep in the sand
The life you had planned
It’s not their fault

The code to the vault
The dreams you had sought
Who has the key?

Bitter and twisted
Hands sweaty
Always fisted
Don’t dare look at me

Easy to mock
Those gossips they flock
To unnerve and deceive

Point the finger
Empty threats linger
Put down those who achieve

Mark Scotchford © 23/04/2016

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Grinding Gears

I’ve been doing this
Over 30 years
Drive it for a while
See if it clears

Don’t doubt my work
Go out of my way
Even took out the leaves
From the engine bay

Press on the throttle
It’s you I’ll choke
Do my best
An honest bloke

Cast aspersions
Dare to insinuate
An apology soon
Before too late

Pushing buttons
Not just ones on the dash
Power without control
Bound to crash

Metal upon metal
Without lubricant will grind
Now working smoothly
Good that you mind

Mark Scotchford © 15/04/2016

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Hedge FUNd

“What’s he doing in there?”
“I don’t know, if you’re so concerned go and ask him.”
“It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. What’s he doing awake at 3’oclock in the morning?”

My parents were getting more and more anxious about what was happening. Yes I was awake, but they wouldn’t believe me if I told them what was going on, they rarely did. I let them discuss who was going to knock on my door, which one of them was going to ask what I was doing, and why I was awake. Why do they always think the worst?

“Go on you go, just ask him what he is doing, ask him if he is OK.”

I’ve always found adults strange. They tell us right from wrong, when we already know, and they’ve forgotten. They tell us to work hard, but look at what working hard has done for them. They look tired and wary, upset and frustrated. How will working hard help me? Anyway, I want to do something I enjoy when I grow up, and I will do my best every day.

Tonight though, I’m gazing out the window watching the wonderment outside. It’s amazing, I wish you could see. I don’t know why it’s happened to me. I wish I could tell my parents, I wish they could see too but they won’t believe and won’t understand. And I’m frightened that if they see, it will stop happening. That there willingness to not believe will somehow stop it from happening anymore. As soon as their bedroom light goes on, it stops, so I doubt it will still happen if they were watching with me.

“Go on, please. Don’t go in, just knock on the door and ask”

I turn my light off.

“Look, he’s lights gone off, it’s fine, and he’s gone back to sleep.”

My parents are fooled once again, they are not as smart as they appear, or it is me who is smarter than they think? I hope it still happens; I’ll miss it when it stops. I don’t think it will now my light has gone off.

I stare out of the window, looking down at the hedge that goes all around our house. I know he is there. He is waiting to come alive again when all is quiet. He likes the quiet, he like this time of night, and doesn’t like anyone else around. He seems to only trust me. And before you get worried about what I am about to tell you, don’t be. This is not a scary story, this is incredible, but you have to believe, and you have to keep it a secret too. I hope you can do that.

My parents light now off, and mine too. Everything is so quiet and peaceful. I stare at the hedge.
I am transfixed by the point I know to be the right place. The point I was looking at all those months ago when this first happened. When I was sad and couldn’t sleep and looking out the window. “Come on sir, show yourself” I whisper. If there’s one thing in life I have learnt already, it’s that you have to be patient.

I gaze at the outline it seems only I see. His face is there, the leaves are his eyes, nose and mouth, they move in the gentle night time breeze. His arms outstretched as part of the tender branches.
I can’t see it but he must be holding a gun, well, his rifle. He is crouched down and I’ve never been able to see his legs when he is like this.
As I stare, it starts to happen, the hedge begins to move. No longer is it the breeze but a head, his head starts to turn. Lieutenant Miles is alive once again. Very slowly he moves, turns towards me and smiles. He slowly leaves the confines of his hedge, all in green he emerges in the street light’s gentle glare. He moves to the centre of the garden, looks up at me and smiles once again. He starts to do his star jumps.

Mark Scotchford © 09/04/2016

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Scotty The Baby Squirrel

Hello I’m Scotty the baby squirrel
And I’m having a bad day
I was just playing outside
Then I couldn’t get away

Birds surrounded me
Taking pecks at my side
I’m so scared
And I can’t hide

I don’t know why
They are picking on me
I just want to play
Have fun and be free

I am a baby squirrel
I am not a birds next meal
And although they have hurt me
I hope my wounds will heal

I am determined
I have to be strong
For if we are not
We don’t live very long

This man arrived
When I couldn’t see a way out
I am just a baby squirrel
Can’t scream or shout

I was calling
In my own squirrel speak
But no others could hear me
And I was getting weak

The man scared the birds off
They all flew away
I had little energy
So I had to stay

Knew he was trying to save me
I didn’t have to beg
So while he was looking for me
I ran up his leg

He held me
Felt the warmth of his hand
Sheltered me
He took a stand

I didn’t want him to go
He put me on a tree
If I survive this day
You’ll hear more from me

Mark Scotchford © 31/03/2016

Scotty the baby squirrel

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Mortal Mouse

I know you didn’t care
Be it a flat or a house
Just after food or warmth
Cute little mouse

When I saw you in the room
Your heart didn’t skip a beat
As though you were waiting
Glad for us to meet

As I moved near
You didn’t run away
Stopped and lingered
As if you had something to say

I was OK at first
And I didn’t mind
Then I read about you
The things I did find

You carry bacteria and viruses
And I hear you scratch
We can’t be friends
Not a good match

You keep me awake at night
Then there is your poo
I’ve got to mention it
What else can I do?

I should have captured you
And set you free two miles away
But I don’t have time
Have work the next day

So I’m sorry mortal mouse
So sorry that you died
Be happy in mouse heaven
I may have even cried

Mark Scotchford © 21/03/2016

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The Water Cooler

I’ve been at my new home for a week now. And can you believe that someone stuck a ghastly note on my head? It said: – ‘Hello, I am your new water cooler. I am not connected to the mains and have a very small drip tray so you’ll have to regularly empty me.’

I mean how dare they, how dare they speak for me. Maybe I like having a small drip tray, maybe I like it overflowing. Did anyone ask me?

Do you know there is an advantage to being stuck in the corner? No one notices you but yet strangely they all need you. Without me they wouldn’t survive, wouldn’t get through the day. Sure, they could get water from elsewhere but that’s not what it is about is it?

It’s a break from work, an escape, a bit of gossip.

And oh my, do I hear the gossip. Never mind the golf course, or even meeting room 3, it’s the kitchen where it all happens. That’s where the real deals take place. I could tell you what I hear but that would be breaking water cooler client privilege, and I wouldn’t do that. Why not? Well for a start, someone might remove my drip tray altogether, or worse still, empty it more regularly. Perish the thought.

You see, they all need me, but they don’t want to care. They are all too busy to empty the drip tray, but not too busy to take my water. I’ve always found that interesting.

Anyway, as I may have hinted, I like to over fill anyway. I don’t like the obsessive cleaning types that empty me or check on me every day. That’s just spooky isn’t it? Give me a bit of space. So what if a little water falls on the floor. Oh c’mon, no one will slip; it’s a tiny bit of water.

As I mentioned though, not really being noticed is a good thing. What I hear, oh my, it just staggers me. I hear all what is important to people. I see the trend and patterns too. The people that get up and just happen to come into the kitchen at the same time someone else does. Those that like to be in there when no one else is, those that flirt, and those that network.

Humans are quite incredible really. Complex and flawed if I may say? They still remain incredible nonetheless. I like gossip, I have to admit, and the things people talk about, here, in the kitchen, in the most public of places, are bewildering.

Advances
Glances
Excuse me
Stances
‘Say hi to Francis’
‘Can I just get to the tea?’

Hot water
‘What about your daughter?’
‘Did she get the chance to sing?’
‘I took her’
‘To the audition’
Wait for the microwave ping

‘Redundancy’
‘It frightens me’
‘Did you hear what happened to Dave?’
‘And that business case’
‘Thousands to waste’
‘Don’t forget to click save’

Mark Scotchford © 04/03/2016

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Reboot

With the working week I’ve just had I’m reminded of a quote that has stayed in my mind from years gone by. “Life itself is very simple; it is us that choose to complicate it.”

I think this is so true. Brought home to me by so many things, but recently by reading about how so many banks and businesses are constantly sustaining denial of service attacks on their networks. Another link was because a program about a guy who sold everything and who bought a remote island and now lives there with his girlfriend. She came out for a holiday and has now given up her life too to be with him. The admiration I have of him leaving the rat race and technology behind is somewhat tainted by the notion that pretty much all of it has stemmed from using technology.

Back to the network attacks on banks and businesses, this problem is only going to get more prevalent and be more successful in the future I think. We have sought to make our lives easier and by doing such, we have actually made them far more complex than they need to be.

With each increment of change, with each technical advance we limit our own imagination on a wider scale, to a more intrinsic level, and we only increase our dependability on something so fragile, and that can be so technically advanced in so many ways, whole systems can be brought down by the submission or subtraction of a . or a /. Did you see them all?

Recently, even a very prominent bank announced that it had an outage of service not because of an attack on its network but caused by “The complexity of the banks own internal systems.”

I know technology allows us to do so much, but we are becoming far too dependent on it and it is being ‘deployed’ into places and applications where it is not needed. It’s involvement superfluous, it’s operation only known when some sensor for something that doesn’t need a sensor sends out a spurious error that no one understands for something that is still working. Some automobile manufactures sell their cars on whether it has hot spot wireless technology. It’s purpose and technical ability as a car almost going unrecognized. The physical tactile craftsmanship of instrument binnacles with bezels and dials. Replaced by a heads up display of a “virtual cockpit environment.” I would think to myself, this isn’t a virtual environment; I am here, aren’t I? Driver-less cars unveiled in London this week signals the dawning of yet another new development.

Parents wait at the gates of schools for their children, head down stuck into their phone. Their children then come home and ‘plug’ themselves into mobile devices.

I know technology can allow us freedom, I know it allows us to create, and do things generations before couldn’t even dream of. But it is coming at a price, a huge cost, and we are yet to see it.

Companies spending time and millions developing apps and games and systems that stretch boundaries but that can limit our own.

Children and adults whose world would descend into misery if they can’t connect to wi-fi or if their battery dies. Social events that are brilliant and engaging, overshadowed by the flashing light of a new text message, voicemail, or email.

Every computer, every application, has a limitation. The algorithms and anomalies that make it function can be incredibly complex. Partly because it has to interact with so many other variables within its platform.

Can you try something? If you have children, try drawing or painting with them or writing, using a pen, or a pencil, and paints. Imagination limited only by the size of the paper. Would you dare try taking that ‘mobile device’ away?

I’ve just seen an article online from The New Yorker dedicating its time to the demise of Twitter. According to the author, something Twitter used to be was “essential” apparently. However have I survived by not being part of it?

Another thing that ‘bugs’ me is the adverts telling us that we need a smart phone for everything. Pretty soon, I think we are all in danger of a need to be sold apps that tell us how to breathe. And what happens if they go wrong?

Mark Scotchford © 29/01/2016

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