Know Thyself And Nothing More – Except Coronavirus
Dear Coronavirus, no use arguing -
You've got one over us this time!
Your latest upgrade is a dream -
Or a fuckin' mutant nightmare, depending
On one's viewpoint!
First you make us sweat, then rasp
Our throat dry. Then, should we draw
The short straw, suffocate life from
The fear of you has laid us low,
Not only of you, but also of the law -
Strange how paranoia spreads itself thick, like
Treacle across the nerves.
And why all this? Some perverse bid
For world domination? Or maybe
To teach earthlings a lesson? Yes,
I see sense in that!
You aren't such a fiend, my friend,
(Don't get me wrong – this is just me;
For millions you're the demon from hell - I
Cannot speak for them.)
But I, for one, wish to give thanks,
Although we've never met, for bringing me
To my knees. The very thought of you
Gives me dis-ease!
The things I normally tackle are small,
Providing small victory, but you -
Your microscopic invisibility makes you
Invincible; I concede!
Conceding to your greater power can only
Serve to strengthen me. Already
I feel more compassion, a refined sense of
I'm quickly learning what matters most -
And what does not. Which things I appreciate,
Especially Life, when others are
Already you have demonstrated
That my well-considered plans
Have fuck-all use amidst viral disorder -
The whirlpool drain.
To go with the flow is all I can do -
Lessons in Love; like when Diana
Was suddenly gone, and the nation wept and
The world wept with us.
If only we'd let ourselves bruise now,
The more easily we would heal!
Between each one of us and heaven lies
The chasm of what-ifs.
Re-evaluation awaits at the threshold,
At the foot of the mountain, the root
Of the tree of Life. There is nothing that
Cannot transcend itself.
- - - - - - -
You've quickly become the benchmark,
Against which I measure success: have I
Capacity to expand my breath, taking in
Even more Life?
You've taken my time in your palm and handed
It back neatly ironed, smoothed from
Every superfluous thing clogging
Up joy in my veins.
You toy with my circulation, my ability
To breathe, my appetite, my sense of well-being
In the world. You've brought fear onto the
Table where I eat.
Each day carries new responses from deeply
Guarded body memories, buoying me along,
Sometimes in backwater, sometimes rapids,
Always t'ward wholeness.
You've ushered me into a keen-edged life,
One in which things I do matter, not only
To me, but also the knock-on world - every
One held in trust.
I weep for the hopeless, children of lost
Causes, for those in a street named Despair,
Where every action turns upon whether or not
Survival is plausible.
I weep for guilty mothers, fucked over by lifetimes
Of dominator abuse, disabled by
An inordinate desire to compensate for
I weep for strong men, whose suffering soul
Allows no vulnerability – the unthinkable
Act of giving in, when everything screams:
“Get a grip!”
I weep for those like me, who see all,
But remain helpless, forever nonplussed
To understand truth: that each one is tried
By their own desire.
- - - - - -
So you make us forget life as known,
Replacing it with renewed authenticity;
I cannot help but respect your insistence to
Take no bullshit!
In days you've restored quietude, hardly a vehicle
On the road, in the sky, or a passer-by,
As I sit spellbound by your magnificently
Wresting us t'ward peace.
Here at home I creep out of my shell,
Become more of what I know of myself -
Not the God-forsaken halfling, ramping up
Already you've tutored me in self-belief,
In my allotment to share in restoring health
To a nation – no – to a race on the brink
Suddenly I must obey laws, heretofore
Unheard of laws, granting carte blanche
Liberty to conform for the sake of all -
For the sake of Community.
Suddenly I'm faced with deciding, whether to
Fear or to love, whether to perceive
Enemies – or friends I might possibly save -
By keeping my distance.
(In truth, I can never be certain whether
You and I have conspired, to make me
Become the bearer of ill, especially
To souls without hope.)
Thus you pull me up sharply! Is there
More room for mindfulness? Of my effect
On those I meet – more than their possible
Effect upon me?
(And how shall it be when the world spins
Onward, into a time when such respect
Transcends the need for self-protection,
How perfectly you emphasise my condition:
That man is but a need - and a
Possibility. Only in relation to others does he
Learn to breathe.
Through fear you involve me in world affairs
In ways I've not wanted, peering more closely at
How far we have strayed, how flagrantly
We disregard Nature!
You are the essential kickback, Nature's
wake up call, following the long slumber of
Night-time reverie, where nothing mattered
More than moolah.
You bring a chill calm to the wind that would normally
Fill our sails, silencing the trumpets.
Into the inner room I retire, clutching a token
Of redemption -
How to act fearlessly in a world saturated
With sensation: the only question worthy
Of attention. To do it full justice, I
Enter the Gaian realm.
- - - - - - -
Oh, Great Mother Earth, what have we done?
Taken your perfect gifts, trampled them under
Heavy diamond-studded boots and
Laughed out loud!
In sack-cloth and ashes I repent on behalf
Of all those whose compelling need has driven
Them to grab, grab, grab! I am truly
Sorry for the error.
Before I'm done here, I shall see,
God-willing, the resplendent turn-around,
The “let's pull back to the drawing board”, “let's
get back to sanity!”
Sanitation is now incumbent on an insane world!
I marvel at how language teaches, where
Exhortation fails. There is a green hill far away,
Where peace is guaranteed.
Maybe in retrospect you will be seen
As the saviour we all needed, to bring
Cataclysmic redemption to a world
Grown too fat?
And maybe fearless fruit shall ripen,
Giving a taste of real Life, not the one
We've donated to everything but
Who we truly are.
“If truth could be told, so as to be understood,
It will be believed.” In Greek
'corona' means 'crown'; and there is a kingdom
In which we all share.