Friday, July 14, 2023

The Wind in the Car

Parked at the reservoir’s edge,
Windows down, watching the waves,

Thinking about collectors
Of data reading data

From their collection machines,
Their faceless collective gaze,

Watching a wood-duck mother
Swimming with seven ducklings,

You wonder why no one links
Omnipresent surveillance

Of people with equally
Continuous, exhaustive

Surveillance of the cosmos
(Decades to catch gravity

In the act of waving back)
Or this planet, whose axis

Has been caught tilting slightly,
Or life on this planet

Triggering camera traps,
Infiltrating garbage,

Plastic, sewers, and seaweed.
Could it be, collecting dust,

Data, and sifting through it,
Remains the same obsession

Whether tracking customers,
Surveilling the populace

For threats to the government,
Or monitoring patterns

Of currents in the ocean
And of the songs of the whales?

One bird watcher on the shore
Compares notes with another.

The ducks keep paddling around.
Gusts of wind rush through the car.

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