[Scene 1. A room in cyberspace. Enter Enlighten solus.]
Now is the posting of our web content
Made glorious summer by the Carnival,
And all the clouds that lower'd upon our screens
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our blogs bound with victorious wreaths;
Our busied thoughts hung on the internet;
Our single musings link’d to many users,
From loss of service, to delightful access.
[The lights rise to reveal Nightfly, seated at center. Enter bloggers.]
I greet thee, friends, herein reassembled,
Old friends; and faces new, yet no less dear
Than those returning. Welcome to the Hive.
Hast thou aught to tell of the Garden State?
'Tis passing strange, the changes near my door;
Where stood once fields and woods along the shore
Are town-homes, mansions, people by the score
The more to crowd the residents of yore:
The halt and suff’ring sick do suffer more.
Enlighten: What says Contrarian?
Contrarian: My tale is thus –
That crowded though the streets may be, the sons
Of those that stay become the sons that go,
Like Washington upon the winter’s morn,
Enlighten: Shalt none remain?
Contrarian: But few,
To stumble ‘pon the banks of Raritan.
Nightfly: What word from Bradley Beach?
BB: O frightful sight!
Nightfly: From whence comes such a form?
BB: ‘Tis from the past,
From plays upon the screen, drawn from the past
And childhood’s days, but half-rememberéd,
Now drawn anew for children of this age.
Enlighten: Pray heaven that we meet no worse than this.
Alas! Here must my news be known to all:
Three rats, made ill for study, have escaped.
How came the folk of UMDNJ
To fail this trust?
They haven’t found a cause -
Whether they fell prey to other beasts,
Or fled to die upon the city streets -
But we are not at risk; or so ‘tis spoke.
Enlighten: Soft! A sound without.
Nightfly: It shall be sorted.
[Enter Hondo, disheveled.]
You come as from a mighty journey made.
Sit by the fire. When hast recoveréd
Thy breath and thoughts, we’ll hear thy message.
In rain, as I homeward drove my way
My fellow travelers and I were slowed.
And as I passed I saw upon the road
A trooper’s car, disabled. The passersby
Had eased their pace to watch. Beyond this point
The cars sped on, but only to a point
Where troopers sat again, but not to look
Upon the cars, to keep them to the law,
But likewise, both disabled as the first.
Nightfly: Three cars thus unhorsed?
Hondo: I saw no horse.
Enlighten: Methinks ye saw no cars.
Hondo: I feared to tell,
Lest unbelieving lips make mockery.
Chide not our guest. If merriment we seek,
Come forth the bards! Let bloggers sing to blogs.
Pardon, gentles all, that on this blog
This tale be told; yet painted Rumor sings
With none to frustrate her confuséd verse.
So must the lesser serve. The tune is known,
But words more fit are fitted to its bones.
[Snitch sings. Applause.]
Much thanks. ‘Tis not a tune to lighten heart,
But ‘twas well-rendered.
Friends, stop not thine ears,
Lest stopped be thy hearts to grieving cries,
Nor turn thine eyes, avoiding others’ tears.
For such was I, at first, upon this news.
Twice-distant views stirred little. Who was I,
Or they to I, that I should share their pain?
Through rising rain and wind, I did not rise.
Below the furious skies New Orleans rode,
Man, woman, child, abode, swept all aside.
Stop not thine ears! Mine own, slow to attend,
Hear now, and learneth means to mend such harms.
These families are neighbors unto us –
And ever thus, before displaced by storm
To scatter-settle in our neighborhoods.
Many have already moved to give,
And more is welcome.
Much hath Jersey wrote
Here and elsewhere of these matters. S’truth,
No fear that we shall fail to do our part.
So what news of the rest of Jersey’s blogs?
For not all have assembled.
Time was swift,
And all-to-brief to gather everyone
From wider ways across the Garden State.
Let us travel, rather, from the Hive
To meet with them.
Then all away;
The Carnival plays caravan today.