Please Don’t

The Shepherds,
Amassing by now
More flocks than they can manage,
Clamor together for an Easier Way,
A way to feed their sheep
Without knowing their names.

Thus the Inventors,
Thinking by now
That they ought to build something worthwhile,
Query the actuaries
And quiz the computer whizzes
And bear forth a Method, a Device, a Plan,
Not personal, but personalizable,
Each sheep just as special as the ‘if’ statement that finds it.

Then the Marketers,
(My, what strange ears they have!)
Sniffing by now
The sweet whiff of profit,
Say they know how to get the sheep excited,
And how to break them down
In slick demo graphics
And sly video segments,
Which say everything
By saying nothing.

And the Sheep,
Wondering by now
What the buzz is all about,
Will follow the Plan,
Though some have doubts.
(I speak of those who have seen
The grasses by the stream,
And seem to know
That these are not so green.)

Maybe some will stop
And say:

“Please don’t.

I don’t want to be categorized, accessorized, and capitalized,
Then politicized, energized, and marginalized.
It cheapens your soul twice as much as mine.

How does a machine perceive Mystery?
Or an algorithm obtain Grace?
How can a computer know me
Unless I am less than a person?
Such reductions are the work of demons.

Please, don’t!

Let me be
Who I will be
When my Lord
Is done with me.”

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