Laconically pedaling my morning commute,
an escape of gear shifts,
morning air and uneven asphalt,
I spotted a Burger King crown,
afloat on the devil’s strip,
circling whimsically around the fallen chestnuts
and their squirrel suitors.

A bullish garbage truck drove by
with speeds to match its girth and
pulled the crown into its wake,
into the center lane, away from my grasp.

It was subsequently run over by a Toyota.

I would be wearing it now
if not for that garbage truck,
our refuse.

I am a king without a crown
and my empire is crumbling,
my cubicle walls receding, awash with green and gray,
the imposing barbarians at my fortified gate.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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