National Poetry Writing Month 2022, Day 6

My Day 6 poem, based on the prompt at

The phrases I used are parts of dialogue spoken by the character Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation:

  • Extreme fluctuations in the electromagnetic field
  • Sensors and secondary generators offline
  • You are constantly working on similar electronic systems
  • I will perform a routine maintenance check


Extreme conditions sometimes require extreme measures
fluctuations in the space-time continuum be damned

In these moments of the duration measurement system we’ve devised to help us keep track
the last thing we did in similar circumstances might not be enough

Electromagnetic elements have no place on the ball

• • • • • • • • • •

Sensors lie
and liars sense when they are in trouble

Secondary protocols exist for a reason—
generators are known to fail from time to time

Offline, nobody uses the phone anymore

• • • • • • • • • •

You may be thinking of something else

Are those the shutters that are
constantly rattling in stormy weather?

Working on the solution
on an accelerated timetable may produce
similar adverse results

Electronic control would be an option, were it not that
systems tend not to run without electricity

• • • • • • • • • •

I might not have thought of that myself—
will can be powerful, but often comes with blinders

Perform a word check to look for
a particular phrase, but don’t get lulled into complacency by the
routine nature of the task

Maintenance is a boring, but necessary procedure—
check your primary circuits are functioning properly before you begin

(6 April 2022)


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