256. branching out.

at 41

when I were a lad

a telegraph pole stood there

that oozed tar in the summer sunshine

 – a magnet for kids with lollipop sticks & clean shirts,

and next to it, the television tree,

well hidden, but everyone knew of it,

and come autumn, a free for all.


picked too soon & all you had was black & white;

too late & the colours had faded;

       – and there’d be windfalls on the pavement too –

spewing out resistors & capacitators & test cards & stuff

 but time it just right  

and you had it sorted – 625 lines and all.

Nowadays, down at the garden centre,

they’re grafting new stock onto old

and they come in all sorts –

LCD, Plasma-Screen, HD – ready

you name it, you got it.

They’re even branching out

reviving stuff we haven’t seen in years

& fruiting Bakelite radios, Goblin Teasmaids, balaclavas,

Fablon & pipe racks, net curtains & donkey stones.


Latest thing is i-pods;

and inside,

a row of shiny black seeds

& some of them notoriously fickle dilithium batteries –

I gave those to Scotty – I don’t know what he does with them.