I might think today's digital cameras and camera phones are a little overused. Idea hatched while watching my young nephew suffering from the scrutiny of those devices — owned by relatives.

Trigger-Happy Generation

Here, boy.

A small rectangle of silver

Looms closer, catches your eye

And you turn towards it.

That's right. Look here!

A strange circle of black

On the silver, reflecting

A miniature you.

Now smile!

A vivid flash of light

And an ersatz clicking noise

Makes you blink.

Ah, too bad . . .

A random shot of imperfection

Discarded at an instant

And the game resumes.


Again and again and again.


You get the hang of it,

Basking in the attention

Of others' lenses.

What a darling!

They coo, and show you

Your mirrored self on the

Liquid crystal screens.

And that is you.

You find the face

Smiling back at you

Tremendously pleasing.

Let's take another, shall we?

Accustomed to the smiling

The clicks and the tiny glass,

You grin for the world to see.

You're such a natural!


As always.


A perfect day.

Unsmiling people pass by

In black and white and

Shades of grey.

How are you today?

The man beside you holds up

Yet another circle of black,

Barrel, menace and all.

Your money or your life?

You imagine your face

Reflected in his eyes,

And smile your best at him.

If you prefer it that way.

A pellet whizzes by,

Blows a hole through your head

And you fall, still smiling.


Goodbye, child.