Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Saturday, 5 November 2011



A Hansabanka ATM in Riga, Latvia: photo by Hākan Henriksson, 26 May 2008

The world is too much with us
getting and spending, the material
dream coming to an ending
neither completed nor fulfilled,
..............even approximately
but finished

A Nordea ATM in Vilnius, Lithuania: photo by Hākan Henriksson, 26 May 2008

ATMs outside the post office, Utrecht, The Netherlands: photo by Victor van Werkhooven, 14 September 2008

ATMs inside Don Mueang Airport (domestic terminal), near Bangkok, Thailand: photo by Mattes, 16 February 2009

ATM at Marie Curie Cancer Care shop, Stranmills Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland: photo by Ardfern, 22 October 2009

Causeway Bay Times Square interior with ATM, Hong Kong: photo by Wuaiubon, 13 January 2010

ATM Bank Albilad, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: photo by Haltham Alfalah, 12 June 2009

Nation wide, nation deep: rough sleeper and bank ATM, Tottenham High Road, London
: photo by Alan Stanton, 23 October 2008

Bank of Palestine ATM, Ramallah: photo by GuillaumeG, 1 August 2011

ATM at Classic Urban Wear Ladies (closed down), Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland: photo by Ardfern, 15 January 2010

Debit card: photo by Elph, 2 April 2011


Nin Andrews said...

I love how you focus on an issue with photos! And I often wonder, what next? I am visiting my mother who is 94, who sits in a chair in a room of aging books and wonders at our gadgets and is mildly terrified of the Ipad on which I show her images of grandchildren.

Take it away! she says and then points to a photo album.
I like pages, she adds. I like to think of my life in pages.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

I'll second what Nin says here and put in my two-bits: This grandma's one smart cookie--bet my bottom dollar--no smart card's gonna get the best of her.

TC said...

There's something about a blank page that's always seemed strangely thrilling.

Maybe it's that the story hasn't yet begun... or maybe it's that the story is all over.

Either way, lovely.

I'm with mother.

P.S. On the blank page that passes for one's mind, the curiously useful and wonderfully under-used word "banausic" has been attempting to print itself for about fifteen years now. Its moment has finally arrived.

(Vassilis will know what it means, it comes from his linguistic ancestry. Utilitarian, mechanical and pragmatic definitions of life and its processes will never be anything but forgeries.)

Ed Baker said...

that first image of the ATM in Riga

(Riga ia from where my father's side is from)

looks to me like a plastic Vagina all it needs to complete the "message" is TEETH !

in fact

all of the ATMS EVERYWHERE look like plastic vaginas !

(can you say/write "vagina" anymore ? Can you 'think' one ?

TC said...


Anybody who cares or wishes to say or think anything is certainly entitled.

In propria persona, I don't care or wish to think or say either of those things.

The pegs-and-holes Slot A/Tab B mechanics set badly needs replacing with something a bit more... fluid.

I don't believe I ever really understood the nature of plastic until once, in a setting of discontented office journalists, a sort of game was devised, in which little plastic animals were set fire to.

It was a stupid game and the players all lost.

My view of the ATM/plastic card game is pretty much the same, but again, as with vaginas, how would I really know, I've never had any of those things.

But whether in Riga, Hong Kong, Palestine or the Marie Curie Cancer Care outlet store, as far as I'm concerned the plastic card machines could all be blown up tomorrow and the world would be none the worse for it.

Vaginas on the other hand probably ought to be left to their own devices, strictly none of our business. We've got problems enough of our own.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...


Here’s a hastily translated entry for the etymology of βάναυσος: The initial meaning of the word was “technician, someone who makes things with his hands ,” while equally ancient was its pejorative meaning of “boorish, uncouth, rude, crude, coarse” which was due to the negative opinion held by the ancient Athenians towards all those occupations done by hand, since they believed them to be incompatible with the doings of free men.

Source: Dictionary of the Modern Greek Language, Georgios Babiniotis.

Though not as well-wrought as yours, here’s one of my takes on the blank page:

White page
You give

back what
the world

leaves, laughed



Such a strange array of photos to show just how much "The world is too much with us/ getting and spending" -- Riga, Vilnius, Utrecht, Bangkok, Belfast, Hong Kong, Riyadh, London, Ramallah, Omagh, Everyman's wallet --


light coming into cloud above blackness
of ridge, jet moving toward pine branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

see only the façade, ground
made up of what I see

proceeds from beyond toward
it, a form, of seeing

silver line of sun reflected in channel,
white cloud in pale blue sky on horizon

TC said...

Those Athenians were well-lettered.

These things were writ in the Sibyl's leaves -- a future in which men are fated to

see only the façade, ground

ACravan said...

"It was a stupid game and the players all lost."

I love this/know about those.

I also tend to think of my life as pages.


TC said...


I try lately to view mine as a closed book.

As we sit here shivering in the pre-dawn darkness, a spirit voice whispers, "Erasure... although memory-loss IS erasure..."

ACravan said...

I know what you mean and it hurts when I laugh, but thank you for making me laugh. I thought that "Erasure" was a good band name. Curtis