ODE TO THE CAMERA


 

There’s a camera around the corner and it earns a fair few quid
It takes pictures of the traffic that speed across the grid
Which the Council workmen painted in the middle of the lane
It’s said it’s there for saving lives and not just for gain
In truth we’re easy targets as we speed in our family cars
Because the police stand a better chance of solving crime on Mars!

There’s a camera in the High Street; it’s pointed at the square
It monitors all of the shoppers and tradesmen who are there.
From its lofty perch way off the ground up in the old bell tower
It gives local and police officials an awful lot of power
“Too right; it’s there to protect us.” I hear you shout as one
But have you ever stopped and wondered where all the police have gone?

There’s a camera in Sainsburys, that’s linked to many others
Scanning all the isles of goods and children with their mothers
They’re there to deter the shoplifter; that’s the official line
It’s no secret, in fact we broadcast it. Haven’t you seen the sign?
The real reason is for profit, to make marketing more slick
By studying your shopping habits they control what goods you pick!

There are cameras strapped to aeroplanes and even in outer space
There are cameras fixed to satellites to save the human race.
Circling the planet; zoom lenses set on high
Let me introduce ‘Big Brother’ as he rides across the sky
Cynical? No sinister, you should, all of you, beware
Lest, flash – bang – wallop they’ve got you and you haven’t got a prayer!

So thank you Ibn al-Haytham for your camera obscura
And for all of the printed photographs of fauna and flora
But in Iraq, in medieval times, you could not foresee the day
When your camera would be used by the arrogant USA
A country not known to you, a continent not yet found
Now a country full of people who live by camera and sound.

 

© Phil Bottomley 2015

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Author: philbo62

Retired businessman, always looking for inspiration and new ideas. Author of two books, writer of poetry.

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