Apropos Of Everything

I met someone today for the very first time. We got talking, and when it came up that I am an atheist (as these profound banalities tend to do given enough time), they said, ‘Yay, me too!’

Is it just me, or is that really not the point? Anyway, it made me a little sad.

This poem has nothing whatever to do with that observation.

The One With The Missing Stanza
Maybe you’re happy
And maybe you’re sad tonight.
But if you can just dance your arse off
You might just be alright.

Maybe you’ve realised
That even though they’re your friends,
They can’t actually care what you think
About any damn thing.

But it’s not their fault;
They would if they could (I hope
For your sake that’s true of you; if not…
The hangman holds the rope.)

We each are the centre
Of our own narrowing world.
We can but lay siege to vanity,
Our vain standards unfurled.

Maybe you’re happy
And maybe you’re sad tonight.
But if you can just dance your arse off
You might just be alright.

——-

‘We can recognize the dawn and the decline of love by the uneasiness we feel when alone together.’
– Jean de La Bruyère, Du coeur in Les Caractères

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Haikan Do It

I’ve wanted to do one of these for a long time. I started writing haiku a few years ago and I love the precision and elegance of the form. Condensing ideas into a tight space is about all that gets me through each day.

Words That Wake
Articulacy;
Night’s boon, sleep’s bane. Morpheus
Robbed to pay the Muse.

Four o’clock is no
Time to wander these narrow
Streets all by yourself.

Some nights they’re peaceful,
But those twice- and thrice-blessed nights
Are mere memories.

These streets tend rather
To be loud, messy…fun? Like
Riding a tiger.

But if I had to
Choose: my words, or peace of mind?
Coffee and a pen.

——-

“A word is dead
When it’s been said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.”
― Emily Dickinson, LXXXIX

Chance Is A Fine Thing

Normally it’s pretty counter-intuitive to focus your life outside of yourself. But these are not normal times.

Take Your Comforts Where You Find Them
I must not let myself be overcome,
Submerged in fear and doubt for all my life.
No longer must I dine off only crumbs
Let fall like so much butter from a knife.
I must recall that there is beauty still,
Though all the world seems empty, dull and grey.
Horizons shrunk to grubby window-sills
Must not obscure the gift that is today.
I say again, the gift, by none bestowed;
Infinity’s fine fluke, if you prefer.
No matter: live as though a debt you owed
To life, in paying which you shall not err.
If in myself my peace I cannot find,
In others’ may my joy be unconfined.

Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Hello

Alan Bennett once wrote, ‘All literature is consolation.’ At times like this, one can can only hope he was right.

They’ll Write A Song
All of you who have no voice,
Yearn to speak yet have no choice
But to stay silent; friends, rejoice:
They’ll write a song for you.

All of you who feel alone,
Exiled kings who seek new thrones
Madness striving to postpone:
They’ll write a song for you.

If you’re broken-boned or broken-hearted,
Or simply broken; if hope departed
Long ago: you may walk in dignity.
Because, for you, they’ll write a symphony.

But the man who cannot love,
Who love feels unworthy of,
Whom despair fits like a glove…

…Who’ll write a song for him?

——-

“I’m not “happy” but I’m not unhappy about it.”
Alan Bennett, The History Boys

Two Alan Bennett quotes in one post. Aren’t I generous? Here’s to 2013, may she be good to us all.