Category Archives: Machines

Luddite Confession

The Prompt: Soulful Machines—Machines, appliances, and gadgets sometimes feel like they have their own personalities — from quirky cars to dignified food processors. What’s the most “human” machine you own?

Luddite Confession

Machines are made to serve us, so
life’s easier on us as we go.
They’re with us from our starts to ends,
so some consider them our friends.

Blenders, fryers,
washers, dryers,
curling irons and waffle irons,
fans that cool our environs,
smoke alarms and heating pads,
foot massagers and other fads
are handy, sure, without a doubt,
but really, I could go without.

There’s only one that’s necessary—
only one that I’d be wary
of giving up. For my success,
I must admit and must confess
I don’t think I’d go very far
in life without some sort of car.

It’s not that I hate walking so;
but rather that where’er I go,
I need to take a lot of stuff,
and a mere bag is not enough
for wallet, makeup, brushes, keys,
Kleenex (just in case I sneeze),
a case of CD’s, books and jacket,
sunscreen and badminton racket,

bug repellant, snacks and gum,
a bottle of Bacardi rum,
a first aid kit, my books to sell
(a box in case they sell real well)
bags for shopping because I’m green,
an ice chest, water and sunscreen,
a phone in case somebody calls me.
(I’m ready for whate’er befalls me.)

So now that we are near the end,
I’ll say my car is not my friend.
And I’ll admit to even worse:
my car is just my largest purse!

Luddite (Within Reason)

Luddite (Within Reason)

Resurrect the Luddite gene!
Raise the axe! Kill the machine!
Its use is seldom credible
in products that are edible.

A bread machine for making bread?
Ban that idea from your head.
Bread manufactured should be banned.
The nobler loaf is shaped by hand.

Lasagna, too, it is a fact,
is better manually stacked.
Those frozen ones from Costco? Toss ‘em!
For no machine knows how to sauce ‘em!

Torillas handmade pat by pat?
You simply can’t improve on that.
But I admit I’m not that keen
on ones that come from a machine.

South of the border, arts abound
on almost every wall they’re found.
All over town, the artists stand
creating murals there by hand.

Art that’s produced digitally?
It will simply never be
as satisfactory to me
as this handmade artistry.

The stately dome, even and round,
in Mexico is often found.
With bricks, cement and lime and sand—
it’s true that they are made by hand!

I admit that a brick wall
is hardly any view at all.
The only worse thing in a town
is when you find one tumbled down!

But Mexico excels at walls.
Hand-stacked, a stone wall rarely falls.
And they are things of beauty, too,
and add, not detract, from the view.

I find that I can best assuage
my aches with a hands-on massage.
Our massage chair bought for beaucoup bucks?
Truthfully? It really sucks.

And yet, I know that many lean
in preference to the machine.
I must admit, though I am wary,
that certain ones are necessary.

Elevators beat the stairs.
Electric shavers best cut hairs.
(Those signs extolling Burma Shave
belong outside a caveman’s cave.)

And I admit the movie sector
clearly needs its film projector.
Doctors? X-rays. Dentists? Drills.
Pharmacists? Machine-made pills.

And I am sure I’d really balk
If I were forced to always walk,
so cars and trucks would make my list
of machines that should exist.

I could live if forced to brave
this world without my microwave,
but take my Wifi? Don’t you dare!!!
Some things are better sent by air!

The Prompt: Handmade Tales—Automation has made it possible to produce so many objects — from bread to shoes — without the intervention of human hands (assuming that pressing a button doesn’t count). What things do you still prefer in their traditional, handmade version?