21 September 2014

Babylon (poem)

(written during university in the early 1980's)

Living in the material world
Or our instant breakfast, quick fix,
Subdivided suburban pseudo-culture
You're another product of our throwaway society
Governed by TV
Forsaking the world and all its gifts
To live in an artificial world
Created by man
Concrete and metal, steel and glass
Chlorinated water and asphalt grass
So busy experiencing life
That you never learn to live

The value neutral prophets
Of the creeping meatball urge
Consume, consume, consume
You only see your fellow creatures
In aquariums and zoos
Sharing your hermetically-sealed cocoon
Forests fall before the blitzkrieg
Of technology and progress
Leaving only scenery for decoration
Nothing remaining behind
For the unborn yet to be
And you call this “development”
As if anyone could improve
On the handiwork of God

Living life as a spectator sport
In a casket with a view
You see the world through the lens
Of TV cameras, edited and spliced
As fleeting as the screen's image
Sixty blips per second
Until you change the channel
If death is not real then neither is life
And no one ever dies here
They simply pass away
Only to return in reruns
Leaving unanswered the question
Of what happens next

The river of your life runs shallow
And you’ve never learned to swim
So feeling empty and alone you pray
To your plastic Jesus Christ
Patron of free enterprise and the American way
You take the twelve steps to salvation
The latest highway to heaven
So that you can feel good about yourself again
And validate the soul that isn’t there
But the mutual masturbation
Of modern day religion
Leaves you no answer
And gives you no clue
To what’s behind the veil
In the holy of holies

So when your soul looks to the west
And the owl calls your name
What then?

Technical Difficulty:  Please Stand By

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