Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Where's His Mask? or following the Science...

Isolation, then, is the watchword of our age. In paradox typical of this bizarre world in which we live, the birth and subsequent gush of technology has produced all manner of communication which leaves us...more lonely! You couldn't make it up, honestly, I mean talking to other people is supposed to help us connect, feel part of, understood, loved except now we somehow feel antithetical to all of that, left alone to wonder, hope and pray that someone, anyone might listen to what we're saying.

In this age of tremendous contact, no one seems to be listening at all to anyone but themselves. And I'm guiltiest of all. Read the preceding poetry which moves from traditional fare to the kind of bizarre self-talk that ends up trapping me in solipsism, onanism, for goodness sake anything but actual connection with anyone on the entire planet except myself. This is ridiculous. Why are we all talking to each other but only hearing our own voices? 

It's as though we're trapped in some existential nightmare, like those baddies in a mirror in Superman, forever spinning through space until some nuclear explosion shatters our entrapment so that we're able to land on the Moon, take over planet Earth and kneel before Zod! But we can prevent this end to our species, and we must, by embracing Truth not Error, just as I have learnt to do (I think) in this blog. Come with me now, back to autumn 2020, to follow the Science by asking this era's perennial question, Where's His Mask?...

One bright autumnal afternoon
I wandered in to town,
My destination Marks and Spencer,
Jewel our High Street’s crown.

I strolled on through the entrance
Then ambled up one aisle,
Approaching me a friendly couple
Ready with a smile.

The man yelled (quite to my surprise)
Right in his poor wife’s face
I saw the tiredness stretch her eyes.

He wasn’t always like this,
She said in silent throw,
Brexit and Coronavirus
Made his temper grow.

In bygone days we used to laugh
And play and have great fun,
But now a pall of gloom
Hangs over us and everyone.

That’s fine, I said, responding dumb,
In actual fact I am
Exempt, for asthma makes me
Feel like suffocated lamb.

Panicked when I put the mask on
That I may no longer breathe,
I’m sorry that your husband
Couldn’t know that in his seethe.

Walking on, I saw three ladies
Queuing up to pay,
One of the assistants with mask 
Off, to their dismay.

(It loosely hung her mouth
So she might speak with clarity
To customer she served
In simple act of charity).

‘If she doesn’t put that on…’
Growled one of those who waited,
I didn’t stop to hear the rest
Of her aggression hated.

Instead I thought upon these two
And on the wider scene,
A country flung unto the dogs
Once pleasant and serene.

Intolerance, hypocrisy,
Myopic self-conceit,
Hissing hate on others,
Civil discourse in retreat.

It wasn’t meant to be like this,
Not after World War II,
Liberalism on the march
Directing me and you.

Unfortunately History
Was gobbled up too soon
By those who sup with darkness
Slurping slither from its spoon;

Who growl and bark at strangers
Instead of straining hard
Against the leash that’s roughly tugged 
By their own disregard.

See, all of us should look within
Recesses of our mind,
Pour light upon those shadows
Whispering scorn on humankind.

Uncovering such we then may join
Ourselves unto all others,
Thereby healing dread of death
The day we’re birthed our mothers.

Instead the terror Covid,
Reaper grim our age
Has torn a hole right through us
When we thought we owned the stage.

How dare this virus own 
The bald temerity elude
All our sterling efforts tame it,
Plate it for our food.

It’s century twenty-first,
We own the planet Earth,
We’re in charge of everything
Including Nature’s birth.

We control the climate,
We control the weather,
We control the sun and moon,
Directing them together.

We can do what we please
We suffer no ill ease,
Our birth right is the luxury
Of never bending our knees.

Well, such thought has put us
In a rather sticky bind,
Its broad view of emancipation
Odds with what’s behind

For in that draught the nightly news
Dumps ordure on our main,
Suffering and grief
Its odoriferous refrain.

Opposite realities thus
Twangle with us all,
Everyone owns liberty
Though everyone’s in thrall.

Everyone is having such
A whale of a time
Whilst everyone is beached
Upon the shores this wretched clime.

It’s dissonance indeed,
It does our heads right in,
It doesn’t even matter when it
Started to begin,

We’re stuck, we’re stuck and grimly look
Upon the other side,
Resentful of a referendum
Splitting up our tide;

Watching he who called it
Disappearing with a whistle,
Leaders should look after us
Not leave us chewy gristle!

Even now, when we obey
Instruction from above,
We’re made to feel worthless
By the simple lack of love

So clearly shown when breaking rules
To visit other people,
Testing out bad eyesight
How chicanery doth steeple!

Because it’s practiced by those
In authority who should
Set example to us,
Be our guide through darkened wood.

Instead they leave us bare, exposed to
Perils of the night,
First of which, confusion,
Gives us sense of massive fright.

That’s why the growling pair,
Those snarling hounds in Marks and Sparks
Were so irate with others
That they bit and with their barks

Warned any off that might come friends
And with that reassure
That actually our present
Is much brighter than before.

And so I headed back from town,
(Gold autumn still in splendour),
Resumed my work in thought
Upon this Earth’s eternal tender

That even with a hard-fought peace
We’re still hell-bent on war,
Waging verbal conflict
As we seek to settle score,

If only we could just get on
Instead of disagreeing,
Out conflict and division
For the hurt they cause our being

Concluding such I broke into
A whistle of my own,
Leaving you this cartilage
May it melt from the bone!



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