Tell me the Story

This poem came about as part of the process of me deciding to get a Television – having not had one for at least the last ten years.


Tell me the Story

In these days of sound bites
edited highlights
and instant gratification
I find myself
less than satisfied.
I want the narrative,
tell me the story.

I am fed up with news
as reported in the media;
they catastrophise, awfullise,
express deepest of concerns
but by tomorrow will move on.
I want the narrative,
tell me the story.

I do not want to see
just the goals. I want
to see the match develop,
the feuds, the clever plays,
the part each player has.
I want the narrative,
tell me the story.

I do not want to hear
about who did what to whom
and what she said
or he replied.
It’s all just tittle tattle.
I want the narrative,
tell me the story.

When we make love
the joy is in the journey;
the climax becomes
almost incidental,
well perhaps some more than that.
I want the narrative,
tell me the story.



40 Responses to “Tell me the Story”

  1. So you have thought about the purchase of a tv set very carefully πŸ™‚

    TV is one continuous story of our civilization (and of the lack of it maybe) I think.

    Good poem!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      πŸ™‚ We have become an instant grtification society Ina and I am sure TV has played its part in that process.

      Thank you

  2. christine Says:

    This is great David. And all so true.We do, indeed, live in a world of instant gratification and it is worrying. I do hope reading to children never goes out of fashion as that is where it all begins. It does seem to be teetering somewhat. Everyone is too busy running nowhere.

    Ruth was given a Kindle (not firewood!) for xmas. You read books on a screen and can download or upload or whhatever you do, 16,000 books. She wont be able to smell the pages!

    I particularly liked your last verse. Making love can be a wonderful story in itself and I understand wholly the significance of the journey.

    A lovely poem to begin a new year.

    lots of love



    • belfastdavid Says:

      So true Christine,

      Books meant a lot to me as a child (still do today) and I so hope that the children of today do not lose that. I would much rather read the book than see the film – then I can draw my own pictures. πŸ™‚

      And I really cannot imagine me ever wanting a Kindle – but then maybe I an just old fashioned!! (No comment required πŸ™‚ )
      I wonder how many of the younger generation would hear the word Kindle and immediately think of firewood!! Or for that matter Blackberry and think of summer days picking them from the bushes πŸ™‚

      It is all about the narrative – the journey πŸ™‚

      Lots of love

  3. christine Says:

    Also meant to say we have to sort the wheat from the chaff re the TV.
    It’s a process, like everything!!


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Well I don’t know about wheat from chaff but I will watch the darts this afternoon and then let Brian Cox take me Stargazing this evening


  4. So true. So true. I had this exact coversation with my wife last night. She stacks up the TV shows on the DVR, and there’s never time for a fulll-length movie anymore. I loathe the fact that reading books has become such an “anti-social” behavior in my present predicament. Spending a few good nights in a novel, getting to know the characters and the lay of the land, rivals any entertainment of the small screen variety. Lessening attention spans seem to socially strain my attempts at literary edification. “Are you just going to sit there and read all night?” Apparently not. Perhaps someone could Tweet me one of the classics, line by line.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Pat, I would worry that the likes of you and I who love our books were becoming a dying breed were it not for my son who goes nowhere without a book to keep him company – even in the most remote parts of the world when he went travelling!!.
      I have been told in the past – “You have read that book before!” – Well yes, and I will probably read it again and again – I find well loved books are like good friends – always a comfort. πŸ™‚
      Let us both continue with our “anti-social” behaviour.

  5. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Okay….sounds like you are up for soap operas and professional wrestling! ha ha…just kidding my friend! But without a little levity we all dry up and blow away!

  6. Television has proved that people will look at anything
    rather than each other.
    ~Ann Landers

    I own one…
    it doesn’t own me.

    good luck with that David and happy new year my friend. πŸ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      What a superb quote Angela – so true!

      I am determined that mine will not own me either.

      Happy new year to you too

  7. I so very much agree with the sentiment here, and the story you tell.
    I too like to know the behind the scenes part.

    I am intrigued by you not having a television.
    I use mine to keep me company… to hear a voice, to see the world.
    I appreciate what it gives me, and how it is able to fill the empty spaces
    of my day.

    Happy New Year to you!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Good to see you here Elaine,

      My radio was often my company for a lot of years – now I intend to find out what television can offer to my life – I know it will change things – as yet I do not know how.

      Happy new year to you too

  8. I imagine, after a ten year lapse, you will find a lot changed as far as TV watching is concerned. It hasn’t improved. Reality shows are the worst things on air, and our American news networks are all biased in what and how they report. You can still catch some good documentaries, which tell more of the whole story. *smile* Hopefully, you will be able to get in some old John Wayne flicks in between those games.

    Enjoy, and what Christine says is true. You have to allow the chaff room to blow past you. Fortunately, most of it carries less than substantial weight and won’t be missed.

    Do you still have that little DVD player and all those movies I sent you? Maybe you can find a way to hook it to the larger screen. Some of those movies, which I doubt you have ever watched, are very good.

    Take care,

    • belfastdavid Says:


      So far Shirley I have had no problem navigating past the crap. Nor in finding the OFF button – I appreciate my silence too much to allow it to take over.

      My problem with movies and with dramas is that my hearing means I often miss some of the dialogue. When I am watching live sport (which is, of course, narrative) it is not really a problem if I miss some of the words the commentator says – in fact it is probably a bonus. It does too involve me in dialogue – even if it is only me shouting at the screen!! πŸ™‚

      You take care of yourself too – you need to get yourself well

  9. this is fantastic David.. I stopped watching the news so long ago.. yes tell me the narrative. i love that enjoyed this piece so much

  10. Purple Paul Says:

    I think tvs are good company when you live alone. They serve a similar role to pets, but there are no smelly litter trays, or walks in the park demanded when you’re tired and it’s raining outside.

    There are occaissionally programmes worth watching too. Freeview boxes are a good investment, I think.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Big πŸ™‚

      I got freeview built into the television. But the main reason for getting it is the sport – I will have a BTvision box next week which will give me access to all the Sports channels. Not cheap but paid for by the money I have saved through reducing my smoking!!!

      • Now, the reduced smoking is good news on any channel. *smile*

      • belfastdavid Says:


        There did seem to be a certain syhchronicity Shirley in the fact that the monthly cost for the licence and the sports channels worked out to be exactly the same as I had saved by reducing smoking!!!

  11. Yes! The story!!! I have found that the only way I can manage to enjoy my husband’s favorite sports teams/events is to have him tell me the backstories of a few players. That is the only thing that connects me to a game – watching to see what comes next in the story.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Jonnia,

      I will continue to buy a daily newspaper – the backstories are all in there and as you say they add to the enjoyment of the story on the screen

  12. Great poem David. πŸ™‚

    I hope you enjoy many hours with your new telly. There is A LOT! of garbage floating around the airwaves and out into space but there are still many programmes that are worth ones time.

    I find these days I listen to more t.v. than I actually watch. Too much to do… I am greatly annoying to Jamie who comes into to tell me the lastest development only to find his bubble burst as I know exactly what’s been going on, I just haven’t seen it. *cheeky grin* It’s one of the downside of open plan living, no door to close…

    I have had periods with no telly but overall I am grateful for it in my life. All the places in the world I’ve seen and all I’ve learned. It will never replace books but it certainly has the ability to enhance ones vision of a place or time.
    I watch more DVD’s now than anything, it would appear my tastes are getting old *LOL*…

    Enjoy the sports!!
    Thankyou for the smile! πŸ™‚


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      I am laughing out loud at your remark about “getting old”. I was talking to the young lad who lives next door to me about getting a TV. He said he is more and more listening to the radio. He also said “I don’t mind telling you that but I wouldn’t tell my friends” – Clearly bothered about his street cred!! πŸ™‚

      I am looking forward to learning to live with a TV – the test comes next week when I get the Sports Channels – wall to wall football!!!

      But already I do appreciate the pictures I get to see from different parts of the world – seeing the images is much more immediate than reading about them in a newspaper

      And I also have a new CD to listen to which will bring friends closer as I listen. πŸ™‚


  13. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    This is a very nice poem!

    Enjoy the sport, – I can imagine you cheering on your footy team, and taking sides … the story!
    Is it not amazing though how many different sides one story can have, – depending on which player, the umpire, the owner of the club or the spectator is telling it … but that’s “another story” πŸ™‚

    above all, Enjoy it!

    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah yes Vera, taking sides is all part of the fun!!

      And I am smiling at your thoughts on different sides of the same story – How very true πŸ™‚

      I will enjoy!

      I enjoyed too the image you put up of your latest tapestry – beautiful

      My best to you and Karley


  14. Christine Says:

    Loved this…fantastic write….enjoyed it thoroughly.Hope you are well my friend.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I am well Christine – delighted you found your way here.

      It is good to see old friends.

      I hope you too are well

  15. Your sweet, engaging work brought out my sarcastic, sardonic, snarky, sly streak so I’ll say only that you wrote it all out charmingly, which is the only way you know how to write it out, dear David.

  16. I love the repetition of “I want the narrative,
    tell me the story.” throughout this poem. And this…”When we make love
    the joy is in the journey”…is enough to make me swoon! (I’m melodramatic, but not kidding!)

    Enjoy your television, David. I will be getting one sometime this year, I hope.

  17. gonecycling Says:

    Amen to all that; in an age of trivia and ‘tittle tattle’, poetry is more important than it’s ever been. And I like the verb ‘to awfulise’. Kudos.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I believe Nick what you say about poetry and it does seem to be going through something of a revival which is encouraging.

      I too like “awfulise” although I do have to stop myself from doing it from time to time πŸ™‚

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