Tuesday, August 12, 2008

92. Electronic Barrier


This actually happened to me the other day. Maybe the young girl in question would have rather died than chat with a verbose old biddy at the bus-stop! On the other hand, I wish she'd given me a chance! Who knows.........?


ELECTRONIC BARRIER!


We stood at the bus-stop, side by side,
An elderly lady and I.
And we started to chat, as strangers do,
When they catch each other's eye.
'It's a beautiful day!' I brightly said,
Not original but true.
'Really perfect' she then replied,
'I live near here. Do you?'
I told her I lived nearby and she
Responded with her address.
' But you're not Australian' I said;
From her accent I could guess.
Within a minute or two I'd learned
Her life-history, family, name,
And she had learnt as much from me;
I'd responded with the same.
Then we looked up and saw the bus.
It was coming round the bend.
And I said goodbye with a cheerful smile,
Feeling I'd made a friend.

We stood at the bus-stop, side by side,
A lovely young girl and I.
And standing silently seemed quite odd
So I spoke up by-and-by.
'It's a beautiful day!' I brightly said,
Not original, but true.
There was no response so we simply stood
Silently, we two.
Then I stole a sideways glance at her
And, suddenly, it was clear,
She hadn't heard a word I'd said.
She'd an ipod in her ear.
So we went on standing wordlessly
Until the bus arrived
And maybe she didn't notice......
As for me, I felt deprived.
An ipod is fine and dandy,
A smart and modern trend,
But we simply can't compare it
To the smile of a new-found friend.

17 comments:

Dogwalkmusings said...

This is so poignant and true! I love your blog.

mgirl said...

You know I was sitting on the ferry a few months back and just watched the people around me. Most people ignored one another, like they didn't even notice others were there. They had either an iPod, cell phone, laptop, or recorder of some type. It made me sad. I thought what are we missing out on today by living in our own little world with so many people sitting right beside us. You described it so well in your story.

Louise said...

I loved your poem. It reminded me of Patience Strong (remember her?). As for talking to strangers, my grandmother used to do it all the time, and as a child it used to make me cringe, but you know now I'm 40+ and living in a tiny village in the country I greet everyone I see and strike up a conversation with everyone I can. In fact I believe that sometimes you may be standing next to someone who has a special message for you, and if you don't give them the time of day you'll miss the opportunity to find out what it is.

I'll be back.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

So true. You know, the more technology improves means of communication, the less communicative we become.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

P. S. Love the picture of the Girl with a pearl earring.

Abraham Lincoln said...

This poem reminded me of how much we missed out on in our lifetime because we bought this house when it was new, in 1962, and it didn't have a front porch but a patio in the rear. That's where we spent our days and nights and had our meals sometimes--out back.

The front porch wasn't there and we missed all of those people who walked past our garage and never saw us sitting there.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fleadom you left for my baby chipmunk. Thank you for that.

Indrani said...

Technology is bringing us closer yet taking us further apart. The girl might not have even realized the attempt to converse from other person.

Kat said...

Aptly titled and well poemed :-)))

There's a saying in Tamil... a thorn has to be removed with another thorn....

Electronics is here to stay. Please i-pod yourself... give a shake to the body
(pl see movie Rush Hour - Jackie doing that..!!). You're guaranteed with a
"..stolen sideways glance from the fellow-traveller.." and perhaps even win that pretty smile :-)))))

Anonymous said...

Just "discovered" your site--a pleasant surprise--not only the verse, but the music selection--telling, and wonderful.
Thanks

Brian Miller said...

sad what we miss when we close ourselves off in our own little world...happy tt!

Gladys said...

Yes the Ipod it's a blessing and a curse.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Whoa... is this a wierd throw back in time post? It fits so great! Sometimes we think folks are being rude... and they may be just shy. Happy TT. -Jayne

VE said...

I completely agree...

I also read your bio on your profile. You've had an interesting life all over. I like that...

Wings said...

Hah - This happened to me once, too! Feels like the modern version of waving at someone who you think is waving at you, only to notice they aren't at all.

Tom said...

ipods and those blue tooth thingies...yeesh. happy TT!

Stephanie said...

A valid point most cleverly posed.

Jasmine said...

Beautifully written and true. In London, people have earphones in their ears even if they are not listening to anything. Everyone carries a book or newspaper too but I think this is an excuse to avert the eyes and not have to acknowledge anyone.