Two Poems

By Joanne Walton

Zoom Call or Seance?

Hello?
Are you there?
Can you hear me?
We’ll just wait another couple of minutes
Some others might join
Turn your camera on
We can’t hear you
Your microphone’s on mute
Your microphone
Mute
Yes
There you are!
I can hear seagulls
Turn your microphone off
The picture is lagging
The connection is bad
Try turning your camera off
Oh, there you are!
No, you’ve frozen
Hello? Hello?
Back again!
Host has finished session

We’re all a bit Max Headroom –

We’re all a bit Max Headroom –

Only dressed in our pyjamas –

Since we only meet on Zoom

Glitching screens become our doom

And we gurn like frozen llamas.

We’re all a bit Max Headroom,

Hair all frizzy like a broom;

Blotchy skin like an iguana’s

Since we only meet on Zoom.

Our houses become our tombs,

With unchanging panoramas.

We’re all a bit Max Headroom –

How can we relieve the gloom?

Tik tok dancing like bananas!

Since we only meet on Zoom.

We’re all baking bread like loons;

Watching television dramas.

We’re all a bit Max Headroom

Since we only meet on Zoom.

Jo forgot her age and remembered her passion, giving up her job to study Creative and Professional Writing at Plymouth University.  She has not looked back.  

I wrote both poems around December 2020 for a university assignment but finally went with a prose piece so didn’t use them. Both poems are reflective of my experience of using Zoom and Teams video calls for lectures during the pandemic.  

‘Zoom Call or Seance’ was written in December, but this week a meme with the same theme has shown up on my Facebook feed.  Clearly someone else has seen the correlation!

‘We’re All a Bit Max Headroom’ was my first attempt at writing a villanelle and became a fun introduction to the act of writing in that form.  Again, the content is reflective of my experience of Zoom calls and semi-ferral appearance during the pandemic. Max Headroom was an 80s TV talking head character known for its glitching and unfortunately this is how I saw many of my fellow ‘Zoomers’ as my own dodgy wifi connection dipped in and out throughout our online meetings.

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Germina Melius
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Germina Melius
27 days ago

I enjoyed reading both poems.

Jo Walton
Guest
25 days ago
Reply to  Germina Melius

Thank you Germina that’s kind of you to say. Glad you liked them ☺️

CChristy White
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CChristy White
27 days ago

Enjoy the humor in sometimes a difficult situation. We have all become more familiar with this technology, but once in a while the tech fails … we must keep a sense of humor about it all!

Jo Walton
Guest
25 days ago
Reply to  CChristy White

Indeed Christy! It’s sometimes difficult, but I try to keep a sense of humour over the zoom calls! Despite the difficulties with the tech, the calls have been a real life line. I loved how people’s creativity shone through over lockdown and friends and families pulled together with quizzes etc.

Annette Gagliardi
Guest
30 days ago

LOL. you nailed that zoom call perfectly. I loved it.

Jo Walton
Guest
26 days ago

Thanks Annette! Glad you enjoyed the poem. Fingers crossed the zoom calls will get less frustrating as time goes on 🤞

Shannon Hill
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Shannon Hill
1 month ago

Absolutely brilliant Jo!

Jo Walton
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1 month ago
Reply to  Shannon Hill

Thank you Shannon, glad you enjoyed them 😊

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