Monday, 20 January 2014

Outlook Unsettled OR Potential for Survival


Today’s poem was written in 2,000; it first appeared in an anthology, Feelings of Solitude, Poetry Today [Forward Press] 2001, and subsequently in my second collection the following year under the title, 'Outlook, Changeable'.

I suspect we’ve all been there (especially in winter); feeling low, yet slowly but surely feeling better and determined to survive.  If the world’s flora and fauna had feelings (and who’s to say they don’t?)  I dare say they would feel much the same given that so many species are all but extinct and natural habitats being destroyed.

Has there ever been a louder call among ordinary men and women in the world’s highways and by-ways for positive thinking and common sense to share its Centre-stage? 

Oh, and let’s not forget the children. Children, too, deserve a voice. After all, it is they who will be expected to deal with the final fall-out from a succession of leading socio-cultural-religious-political players on the world stage all crying ‘Foul!’ Any show of teamwork  - and there is plenty in evidence - is likely to be undermined by trouble makers (invariably groomed to believe they have right on their side by those more interested in power) if only because they are inclined to shout the loudest and thereby grab most if not all the attention.  

It is my belief that the natural world will survive whatever humankind in its preoccupation with one-upmanship throws at it or takes from it, but at what cost? If G8 summit rhetoric and the like is anything to go by, that is in the hands of those more concerned with staging a play (invariably with their own agenda in mind) than the play itself.

Now, there’s food for thought enough to make anyone feel as if he or she is on their own and up against it.

After even the worst winter, there is always spring. Well, that is provided we give spring a chance....
  
OUTLOOK UNSETTLED or POTENTIAL FOR SURVIVAL

Smoky old town,
draped in a pretty, oily twilight
during a winter rain

Among glistening spires,
a tolling bell openly conspiring
to wake the dead

Memories blur in each
woolly head desperately seeking
clarity of sorts

Gay kisses, easy target
for poison darts, snipers in a badly
junked-up bloodstream

Heavy air, dragging
on bony feet like fear scared stiff
of its own shadow

Latest storm, all but passed;
nature, keen to prove its capacity
for revival

World, counting the cost
of reassessing its laurels, the better
to credit our survival

Copyright R. N. Taber 2002; 2012

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears under the title 'Outlook Changeable' in 1st eds. of First Person Plural by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2002; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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