Here is the tenth poem in my 52-poem sequence (one a week) for 2013, followed by some illumination and reflection:
the long days laboured on the page
the city’s slow groans of deflating time
we live and die in the agony of moments
halting between clock hands
poised at the ever-receding brink
of insubstantial victories
through the vast and hollow cosmos
our blue planet rolls in ether
a tired eye washed with tears
at the harshness of things.
millions starve, fight, torture, despair
bodies endlessly discarded like litter
their screaming cries becoming music
distant interludes on televisions, radios
rocking us to sleep.
Unspeakable suffering or inexpressible joy,
we are tormented obscenely
or inexplicably blessed
but time just passes.
I wrote this poem on Speed, or rather under the after-effects if it. It was a long time ago, Officer. As summed up in the Sisters Of Mercy song ‘Amphetamine Logic’, one of the characteristics of this drug is how it appears to give clear insights which are later hard to justify in normal life, such as how humanity spends half its life sleeping unnecessarily. In this instance, the insight appears to be related to the passage of time, whose rate seems to alter when one is hyper-awake and aware.
I’m including Magritte’s ‘The False Mirror’ as the illustration for this one, although I can’t help thinking that Suzanne Vega’s song ‘Small Blue Thing’ from her first album, was the key influence.
I don’t mean to condone the use of drugs, incidentally. Statistically: Alcohol, followed by nicotine, are actually the most harmful drugs in the world, in terms of the numbers of lives they ruin. Serious drug dealers are of course despicable individuals, since they prey on the poor weak souls amongst us (and that includes all of us at one time or another) who are apt to become addicted to any soporific crutch. Let’s re-read that. This means that Messrs’ Benson & Hedges should be in jail and that the monks who make Buckfast Wine would have been executed in Thailand. Anyone with imagination, can go almost anywhere in their head that a drug would take them. They just open up a few doors, that’s all. But I would urge everyone to use imagination rather than drugs, and that goes particularly for alcohol!
And of course, as every tin-pot despot knows so well…. imagination is the most dangerous drug of all when the masses finally get hold of it!