Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

Contrast


As it happens, a number of the readers and followers
Of this platform suffer from depression. How do I know?
Because their websites say this. Is poetry a form of expression
To aid in their coping with depression? I can’t say. However,
For me what it does mean is that, having suffered from
Depression all my life, if there is anything I can say that
Helps in the smallest degree then I will say it.

For those who do not suffer from depression, a sense
Of the sheer difficulty for depressives to live anything
Like tolerable lives would not be amiss. I can’t claim to
Offer comfort to those who suffer, offer hope. I very much
Doubt I can. But that someone else speaks up and says
What is like is helpful. Can articulate.

What I can say is valuable since it comes from living at
Present in two worlds. The one where I am still gripped
For periods in a day by depression and those periods
Where I am released from its grip. But, better than that,
The sheer contrast between the two worlds is breathtaking
One becomes aware to greater and greater degrees just how
Much depression shapes our thoughts, our actions and our
Behaviours.

The stamp of depression is heavy and crushing and unrelenting
To be depression free is so startlingly different as to almost defy
Description. Since I imagine that those who do not suffer from
Depression will take all these for granted, if this is true, and I
Don’t know, can’t tell, then such people will find any discription
Of the non depressed state unremarkable. But it is not unremarkable
Far from it.

To be free of depression is to be free. That word is not lightly used.
Free to think, free to act, free to relate fully to other people and
For them to feel good about you. These are not insignificances.
What drives me to write is that day by day, the disparity between
The two states becomes evermore stark. Increasingly, one becomes
Aware of just how debilitating depression is. One always knew. But
Now that knowing is from an objective sense, of being able to look
At it from the outside not its innards.

To be trapped in a sheep’s stomach must not be a comfortable thing
If that is not where you belong. What hits is the sheer transience of
The thing. Depression free, one can do, say, act in ways that are simply
Not possible in the depressed state. When this transient stage is
Complete, will I write of it? I can’t say. How valuable is this to you
As a reader? I don’t know. Is it valuable to me. Certainly it is. For
It serves to remind myself that those depression free periods
Do occur and are occurring, even though when in the depressed
State there is a loss that, for one, that they ever happened, and
For another, that they will continue to occur.

But, better than that, is the ability to share publicly as I am doing
At this moment. This allows me to be objective about that same
Crippling state. That I have this platform, and that I have readers
However few, is a great privilege for which I am profoundly
Grateful.

Life gets better and better and the contrast more and more stark.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

The leading Democracy?


Democracy is not about being 26th in the league of Infant Mortality
Democracy is not about hanging citizens. The USA is notable for its
Absence from that list that adds year after year those countries who
Have given up The death penalty. Nor is democracy about allowing large
numbers of Its children to go undernourished, the problem ignored by its press.

Nor about the refusal to teach children the facts of natural selection
But to handicap their minds by insisting on the primacy of creationism
Nor is it about conducting torture, cruel and unusual punishment. By what
Standard can you be held to when such facts and practices exist. What
Do its citizens do? Bury their heads in the sand and insist all this is not true.

What we abhor in others we ourselves do. And if we don’t face the truths about
Ourselves, we will never get better.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

A wildly inaccurate expression


A highly respected newspaper carried yesterday a story
Which used an expression to report an event which
Took place in one of the local wars in which this
Country, on a regular basis, gratuitously involves itself in

The expression is so abhorrent that it is hard to bring it to one’s
Lips. Friendly fire is anything but. Lethal use of firepower
On those who are your side, when that lethal power is supposed
To reserved for the enemy. This nation boasts of its accuracy, pin point

Aim, aided by satellites. This is nonsense. How is it that you can
Make such a claim, when you cannot distinguish between friend
And foe? What do these killers say to their superiors, “I’m sorry
Sarge, I killed Joe.” What reply does Sarge give, forgive

And the reporting; using such a phrase, a euphemism. Is this
Responsible journalism. Does it not seem to condone. Oh, it’s
OK. This is part of the inevitability of war. Which, war or the
Careless killing of your own troops. How do they carry the news home.

The paper doesn’t say …

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

Not trivial


Ah, to be concerned with the little things in life
The big things we remember, an especially good
Birthday party, marriage ceremony of friends
A prize won, graduation from university

But the little things, no. Next day they are
Gone. A bad restaurant, we won’t go back
And put it out of mind. A medicine forgotten
To take, though we take more care the next day

Coffee spilt on a favourite shirt. We wash it
And forget. A chance remark from someone
That upsets and is five minutes later is forgot
Blood pressure, that stays, a vulture to sit

On the shoulder, a concern, a worry. And the figures;
Systolic, diastolic, suddenly become important
We never paid attention before. They were normal
Unremarkable. “Fine,” says the doctor, and leaves it that

But no, when they are above the magic, golden 120/80
You start to pay attention. Suddenly threats loom that
Never have previously. A couch potato all of life and
Health perfect. The list of things to do to bring it down

Exercise, no smoking, moderate alcohol, no salt, healthy
Diet, etc. What draws attention is the sheer variety of figuresThe first tests were done at a clinic required for a new job
No pass, no job. Three attempts, the last with stethoscope
And bulb, which is hand pumped. A week later to the local

Pharmacy; they do the check for free. Two attempts, wildly
Differing figures for each. How on earth, I wonder to a friend,
Is it, that in this day and age of high technology, we have not
Mastered being able to accurately check blood pressure

Imagine flying the Atlantic on the same basis. What about
Patients in life threatening conditions, I ask him. Well they’re
Wired up to special machines, he says. I don’t say it, but the
Means of testing seems primitive compared to the means

We have of other kinds of testing. So it is off to the doctor
To have him, or his nurse, check. He has the history of
Decades of checks. All those figures never paid attention
To at the time. They seem more important now.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

 

 

Filed under: poetry

Irritability


I feel irritable today. Is one allowed this
Feeling. In public. It does not make one
Popular. Does one hide it, suppress it

What causes this, one asks oneself,
This outofsorts sense of the world
What to do to put it right?

Go to the local store and buy candy,
Icecream. Stand outside and smoke
One more interminable cigarette

Which doesn’t do one bit of good.
Sparring with a friend in London
By email, an unprecedented thing

Picking a fight with him over matters
Trivial. He responds reluctantly. This
Is not his cup of tea. He’s a placator

A mediator. Wishes to live in peace
Still, he responds to the bait and replies
In kind, until a point is reached where

I think, this is silly. I have known this
Friend for years. What am I doing. To
Finalize this friendly sparring I tell a

Funny story of what happened once
When I flew into London. I laugh
As I build the humour and release us

Both from the back and forth, closing off
The correspondence for the day. We left it
On a good note. I feel better momentarily

But then feel irritable again.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

 

Filed under: poetry

They have moved the tree


They have moved the tree and placed it in a new position.
The logic of this is not apparent. They, in this case, are the
Leading tree movers on the continent.

Their progress has been watched carefully by this observer.
The soil around the tree was carefully removed and the soil
Base of the tree carefully wrapped tight like a diaper on a baby.

The street was closed during late night hours 9 June and a crane
Moved it to a grass patch nearby. This movement would not
Have been witnessed by passerbys but those chose the time

To least disrupt traffic. The tree then sat Saturday; a hole was
Dug by a mechanical shovel, a hole big enough to take the
Tree and its shorn roots. Sunday it rained, so yesterday

Was spent with the shovel lifting water out of the hole. The tree,
Meantime, was sat uncomplaining on scaffolding pipes
Used as rollers on top of airbags. The company has patented

This means of moving trees since it saves money on cranes
And has other advantages. This morning, the tree had already
Been placed in its new home some 100 yards from where

It had previously sat. Now a new crew were hard at work, a
Landscape company, laying sprinkler pipes. The ones that
work during the night and deposit most of the water on the

Road which is then wet and splashy in the morning, so you
Think, “But it didn’t rain!” It is a marvel watching all this.
The cost must be great. This gives new meaning to “eco.”

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

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