Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Twa Pixels’: a poem by Philip Fried


    Twa Pixels

As I was walking all alane / I heard twa corbies makin a mane ...
              — from the medieval ballad 'Twa Corbies,' in Scots dialect


As I was gazing at the TV screen,
I heard two glinting pixels gossip and scheme
in whispers, apart from the venomous debate
exploiting fear and anger at our fate.

'I'm proud to play a minor part in the spectacle,'
confided one pixel to a brother pixel.
'Though only a dot, I thrive on populist fervor;
there's no doubt rancor brightens,' replied his neighbor.

'Humans invented us, and must be our God,'
said the first, 'but their omni-impotence is odd.
Some kill and some incite to mayhem and riot
but many are happy to watch this, passive and quiet.  

'Trapped like polar bears on tiny ice-floes
they view the calamatainment from their sofas.'
'Now they believe in us, our shifting swarm
whose rapid, hypnotic depictions thrill and alarm.'

'Who'd credit that the sinews of a gaze
could be picked so clean by flecks that dazzle and daze?'
'I almost feel pity as we teach them further
to call a crowd of pixels, like crows, a murder.'

'The Husband, Children, Dog, and Lovely Wife
lean back; they're lifelike statues deprived of life,
sweetly gathered in apartment spaces
so points of light can gobble up their faces.'