The Razor Blade of Approval

“Too fat! Too thin! Too glad! Too grim!
Too black! Too white! Too dark! Too light!
Too rich! Too poor! Too smart! Too sure!
How do you ever hope to gain a compliment from us?

“You mention our great enemy, yet not in pure disgust?
Here’s a list of things for you to do that might win back our trust.
Supporting last week’s noble cause? Have you no sense of shame?
This week’s outrage is what matters, this is not a game!

“Abase yourself for all the crimes your ancestors ignored!
(At least, according to the meagre records we’ve restored.)
Your shouts are far from shrill enough, denounce, denounce, denounce!
Or else it seems to us you’re one of them, by all accounts.”

I stumble from the pedestal no broader than a hair,
I’m trampled on by hundreds scrambling to climb up on there.
I stand and walk away from the shining razor blade
of their presumed approval, and as their voices fade,

I find, to my surprise, that the world doesn’t end.

 

This and other poems on the subject of wisdom, folly, everday and epic heroism and beauty can be found in Selected Verse – Heroes and Wonders

 

 

 

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The Greatest Joy

We’re slandered and insulted,

Betrayed and ridiculed

Potrayed as evil, backward

And so effortlessly fooled.

 

Relentless in their mockery,

Comfortable with lies,

They never tire of poking fun

At those they so despise.

 

They laugh at our great suffering

And flaunt their stolen wealth

Secured by crony networks

And in the best of health.

 

And yet we have a hope that their blind eyes can never see,

And know a joy so deep it runs into eternity.

We know the Source of all, who is above all time and space,

Whose glories far outweigh all trials that we could ever face.

 

His peace is overwhelming, his mercy covers all;

His grace is still transforming all victims of the Fall.

Our future is so radiant with love and joy and light,

So how could we fear mortal men in all their puny might?

 

We won’t lash out in anger, we’ll rest and sleep in peace,

Then in the morning work to make His loving rule increase.

So pause now and consider, who you’ll serve and trust —

The Lord of all creation, or men drunk with powerlust?

The Joy (and Terror) of Judgement Day – Part One

So, following on from last week’s entry, your life on earth is borrowed, your possessions are borrowed, the atoms in your body are all borrowed, your every waking (and sleeping) moment is borrowed, entrusted to you.

This reminded me of the words of the Inquisitor from Red Dwarf:

“You have been granted the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. Tell me, what have you done to deserve this superlative good fortune?”

It is a sobering question, because the honest answer is nothing. Life has been granted to us not out of obligation to us for something we have done, not a reward or wages, but as a gift, the greatest of gifts, perhaps even something, dare I say it, that is worth being grateful for in of itself.

In context however, that is not really the question that the Inquisitor was asking. What he was asking was far more serious, even terrifying:

You have been given this astounding gift, this incredible range of opportunities. What have you done with them to justify this enormous investment in you? What reasons will you give to dissuade me from erasing you from history and giving your opportunities to someone else? Continue reading