If one was to ask that age-old question that arises when a nation reaches a crossroad of a kind and there is a choice between destructive absurdity and destructive delusion..so one is compelled to ask : “How did we get here?”, then surely it would seem the logical thing to do is to consult the great tomes of history and armed with these examples, peruse the even greater tomes of philosophy to then move on to the multitude volumes of poetry and literature that ought to give reassurance that there IS a reasonably clear, reasoned and logical path to follow to lead us once again to the bright veldts of sunlit clarity of purpose and ambition for the greater majority of humanity.
“Ought to give reassurance”….those are the operative words..but are they the operative deeds?…Machiavelli writes that while there is ample evidence of historical example for us to both learn from and to utilise to improve our conditions, there seems more of a tendency to admire than to emulate wise and judicious example..it would seem that the individual’s ego of whatever age has a tendency to magnify..given the opportunity..its own sense of granduer and importance to the point of ignoring warning and excessive deeds which eventually result in total destruction of themselves and..unfortunately..any society or nation they rule over…and no measure of high education, high art in literature, visual or song has the power to halt the more egregious manners of such an individual or even such a society..
I wrote this poem that describes the futility of such great learning..such great art and placed it up on social media..as I do again now..and it was read by approximately half a dozen people..liked by two..and I am not saying it is a very good poem that deserves a greater audience on the strength of it’s artistic merit..but the topic it raises and the cynical behaviour of its characters demand at least a little bit of consideration, for going by the currect trajectory of a capitalist economy of the world now, there seems little chance of redeeming our climate from slipping away..right in front of our eyes..until the remnants of a once imaginative species will be reduced to the tribal gathering of a small cluster of ragged-tagged individuals burning the great books of humanity just to keep warm..so I conclude that it was an act of futility in recording a futile act.
A sad conclusion to such a promising start.
A cold night on the range.
Was the year after the blast that ended it all,
Not a whole room left standing..just rubble and sprawl,
And we were camp’d freezing amongst it all.
With nary a stick to burn to keep us warm,
But a box full of books packed in haste,
A box full of books found buried among waste.
So we lit a fire with those learned tomes,
Warmed our hands to the rhymes of poems,
And in jest to our plight using the fire we might
Read a line or two and laugh with vulgar delight!
“Here’s a good one”…Louise called out,
Holding the screed aloft in theatrical tout,
And with an exaggerated voice of stage,
Read those prescient words from the page;
“When first the tottering house begins to sink,
Thither goes all the weight by an instinct”.
A moody silence fell from those words,
A warning wasted from a long-lost world,
The predicted path of how it all fell…
Wisdom in the silence, it’s echo did tell…
‘Twas Burton’s “Anatomy of Melancholy”,
Come to think..I recall..but whatever ‘twas,
It made good fire…a roaring good fire for us all.
Freezing our bones amid the sprawl.