Ode to my Computer
Thirty-odd years of research and development
Went into making it what it is today.
Precision technology, assembled
From the far corners of the Earth.
In some factory in Taiwan,
Countless faceless nameless workers
Inspect your heart, your brain
And all your limbs.
From rocks and sand and blistering heat
Came the silicon upon which it is built.
Ores of tin and iron, melted into copper and steel,
Make up the rest of your structure.
I wonder, sometimes, at how it was designed.
Some engineer sitting at his desk,
Tracing connections on paper that will one day
Be molded into silicon, at a million times smaller scale.
What an engineering marvel! What a technological triumph!
Circuits too small to be seen, mass-produced,
And sent around the world. How many other nameless twins
Does my computer have, locked away in some dark office?
I can remember all of its predecessors, primitive as they
Seem now. Back then, they were “state of the art,”
Fleshed in heavy steel frames and plastic covers.
Now they’re paperweights.
Bigger and better, faster and cheaper.
They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to!
Now, just a little touch of static
Power in, power out. AC to DC, 12 volts steady.
Its innards rumble, a familiar sound to me.
How much of my life have I spent
With my fingers poised on these plastic keys?
What wonders and miracles have come forth from this screen?
What noble purpose can I put this machine to now?
Who would have guessed, at age 10, that I would
Make a living at playing games?
Pop a CD in, and I can make music.
Click at the keys, and I can write poetry.
Point at the screen, and I can create art.
Talk to it, and it talks back!
Chips, cards, sockets and slots.
Adapters, modulators, ports and peripherals.
CPU, CMOS, BIOS, RAM
LCD, LED, HDD.
Beautiful, colorful wires and circuit boards,
All hidden behind the same beige face
That every computer wears. Like the people that
built them, computers are faceless.
Hidden in its heart
Is a treasure trove of information.
Nothing but bits and bytes, to it.
Only through me can they have meaning.
Forever outdoing itself,
This is more than a faceless machine.