The Net Before Yulemas
The Net before Yulemas was a wondrous thing,
Billions of Netsites magically joined in a ring.
The folks in E City were connected but Notts of Old Town were not,
A point well illustrated by a particular spot.
E City, perched loftily above a broad valley below,
Was wired and wired, the most it could go,
With networks and subnetworks of the latest gear.
This electronic sentinel you could not go near,
Without a smart card confirming you were a Nett.
All were welcome in Old Town even though,
Modern sensibilities would not let it be so,
For, unless you were born there (what a shame)
No one wanted to be known as a Nott by name.
Notts are old fashioned and not plugged into the Net,
Electricity for lights is as electronic as they get.
But the Netts high in E City are wired to the max,
And connect to the world through laser jacks.
Virtual reality suffices quite well,
And obscures their neighbors, the Notts, down in the dell.
They have software for learning—no need for schools,
And applications for happiness—they’re no fools.
Brick and mortar have vanished, along with the sun,
Automatic shutters control exposure for everyone,
Protecting from UV and keeping the Notts out of sight.
Netshops glitter and gleam with digital light,
While the candy store object records a new sale,
The clock chip computes Yulemas Eve and spams an email,
Received by the denizens of E City as urgent no doubt,
Telling them to drag their holiday CDs out,
A witty app now proposes a scheme,
Where the Netts can make Yulemas a real cyber dream.
Said the email my Netsites are the modern way,
Use your computers to make Yulemas an electronic day.
Said the email, on the eve of Yuletide,
Book a video conference for those not by your side.
Log into the Net and configure a Yulemas tree,
Shop online, placing package icons for all to see.
Come Yulemas morning, the Unwrap command,
Will express ship a gift to you from NetSantaLand.
Link your soundboard to an audio source,
That will play Yulemas music, pure digital, of course.
Papa at the computer, his mouse how it flew,
Programming connections as only he knew,
Linking the assisted living center webcam to his piece of the Net,
He could pull in images of Grandma and Grandpa, though the best part yet,
Was Junior digitally mixing frames of the video tape
Mailed by Aunt and Uncle from their vacation at the Cape.
Missy at her tablet was patching in the cousins,
She keyed furiously because there were dozens.
Mama coded the phone to reject calls seeking alms for the poor,
And set the alarm system to keep carolers from the door.
Papa wrote a script, a special treat for Mom,
At midnight to play the new video at The.True.Meaning.Of.Yulemas.Com.
As the time drew near for the Net fest colossal,
Mama pushed a button to microwave the wassail.
Just after the main digital appliance registered 7:59,
The whole house shook and went totally offline.
The computers all froze and the Net went away,
The digital music refused to play.
The shutters released and let in the glow,
From the festive lights of Old Town way down below.
The rooftops of Old Town glittered green, gold and white,
And brilliant Yulemas trees at every window filled the valley with light.
Nott carolers sang bright songs of the season,
And Nott children danced and laughed with delight beyond reason.
The Notts knew what the Netts did not,
That Santa was coming and would arrive in a jot.
Santa had but one power, to change any shape,
He could transform a goldfish into an ape,
Or a bag full of toys he could put in a thimble,
And a rocking horse rolled into a ball made Santa quite nimble.
To deliver his treasures into any house,
He could wink and become the tiniest mouse.
On the eve of Yulemas, his great power came,
He hitched up his reindeer and told them the game.
After the sun had set and before the clock struck midnight,
He must be done with his travels and be safely out of sight.
So when the sun disappeared Santa flew like fire,
And put his chubby fingers around the Great Net Wire.
"By my Yulemas Eve power, I tell you my will,
When the clock strikes eight, you must be still.
Your zibits and zabats that make computers glow,
Will freeze like an iceberg and have nowhere to go.
When Yulemas has passed then you may thaw,
And send your zabats and zibits whizzing from here to Cukamayaw."
The night was silent and the Netts were afraid,
Gone was the electronic Yulemas they had made,
The gifts and presents for which they were longing,
Had vanished, along with belonging.
Suddenly, the Notts fled to their houses,
Put children to bed and snuggled, mama with papa, sleepy spouses.
Old Town grew still and the Netts took fright,
When a rustle and roar broke through the night.
Snow fell from the sky, quickly covering the land,
With a frosty white mantle draping like sand.
To bed the Netts sadly withdrew,
Lamenting that Yulemas would not be ado.
The dreams of the Netts were pixilated and unclear,
Fomenting discomfort, unease and fear.
Yulemas morning, the sparkling dawn glinted white,
From the deep snow that had come in the night.
Inside every home on the hill in E City,
Stood a splendid Yulemas tree, gleaming and pretty.
Beside every tree, a red sled was parked,
And gifts Santa left before he embarked.
This miracle of Yulemas was understood by the Netts,
Who bundled up warmly and made jolly bets,
A Yulemas cake to racer and much renown,
To the very first sledder to streak to Old Town.
Down the steep, icy ridge, the Netts swiftly slid,
The Notts welcomed them, with big smiles, they did.
Santa stilled the Great Net Wire many winters ago,
So the Netts and the Notts forever would know,
Yulemas is a human thing,
Joining noble human hearts in a golden ring.
By human minds, human plans must be laid,
With human hands Yulemas must be made,
Of evergreens, holly and such,
Of pies and presents rendered by human touch,
Of spirit enthused with human rejoicing,
Of songs of the season giving to love joyous human voicing.
Causes Michael Warren Supports