In the gloom of the cave, lit by fat-soaked burning moss, the skin-clad scribe draws on the wall with a
finger dipped in ochre. He sketches the beasts he has hunted, telling of the deeds of his tribe.
In the gloom of the hut, lit by a burning taper, the leather-clad scribe presses a reed into the soft
clay. He pokes and prods the brown tablet, telling of the victories of his king.
In the gloom of the tomb, lit by a burning torch, the cotton-clad scribe paints with a small brush many
coloured pictograms on the wall. He describes the feats of the Pharaoh.
In the gloom of the small room in the palace, lit by a single burning lantern, the silk-clad scribe
skilfully draws the characters in black, black ink on the thin rice paper. He records with artistry the
triumphs of the Emperor.
In the gloom of a tablinum, lit by an array of burning oil lamps, the linen-clad slave scribe scratches
in wax with a silver stylus. Using Latin letters, he writes at his master's dictation the history of
In the gloom of the monastery cell, lit by a burning candle, the wool-clad scribe writes with quill and
oak gall ink on smooth white vellum. He copies ancient texts telling of the history of the Israelites.
In the gloom of the Boeing 727, lit by low wattage fluorescent lamps, the Savile Row-clad scribe dabs
with his forefinger at the screen of his palmtop. He writes in electronic ink on a billion pixels an
update on his Facebook page.
Frank Brown ©