Monday, 24 February 2014

Art of Fiction, Heart of Life


I often hear adults say of children that it is a shame they have to grow up. I agree, but not for the reasons I suspect they have in mind.

On entering a store recently, I held the door open for a stream of men, women and children rather than have it slam in someone’s face. No one said ‘thank you’, and one woman called me a sexist pig. Should the same thing happen again (as it invariably does in contemporary society) they can let themselves out, and I will stand well back. Mind you, if the door slams in someone’s face I dare say I’ll get the blame for not holding it open.

Oh, well, that's life.

As a child, I loved reading myths, legends and fairy stories. As an adult, I began to realize that many are an entertaining metaphor for real life. Even so, not all magic is wishful thinking. Yet, the same imagination that fed on those stories so long ago continues to see me through the same need for escapism some 50+ years on. The trick, of course, lies in learning to separate fact from fiction, wishful thinking from reality, naked truth from bare-faced lies.... 

ART OF FICTION, HEART OF LIFE

Storytellers would have us believe
that once there was magic in the world,
a time when we all sang songs
of peace and love till a twilight fell
that had us playing hide-and-seek
among ruins of halcyon days confined
to make-believe

Storytellers would have us believe
that once there was chivalry in the world,
a time when men opened doors
for ladies without their being accused
of sexism, nor would a lady mind,
but take pleasure in being noticed so,
by way, too, of common courtesy  

Storytellers would have us believe
that once there was the stoicism of Penelope
who contrived to remain faithful
to the love of her life without being accused
of pandering to her man,
rather of ingenuity for putting a unique
spin on love

Storytellers would have us believe
that the old gods were jealous of each other,
interfering in the ways of humankind
that played them at their own games and won,
tore down their temples,
created a copycat Olympus
on Capitol Hill 

Storytellers would have us believe
that once there was magic in the world,
a time when we all sang songs
of peace and love till a twilight fell
that had us playing hide-and-seek
among ruins of halcyon days confined
to childhood

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011



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