Dilettantes of Disaster

The shadows draw long
through our limbs,
impoverished pulses from
hearts carve us
tragic sinkhole
s for eyes
; we are sallow
spectres in the night
mirror, painting ourselves
in dishwater tincture
for dream-time, a sludge palette
of effete sorrow.

Until abstraction
manifests from the canvas
and chokes us by the throat,
we do not know gratitude.

30 thoughts on “Dilettantes of Disaster

  1. Wonderful imagery in every line – and particularly dramatic, forceful and vivid in ‘Until abstraction/ manifests from the canvas/ and chokes us by the throat.’

  2. I also am struck by the sallow spectres image as well as the effete sorrow. WOW. Powerful. You write with such refinement. It is always a pleasure to read.

  3. Yes, humans are strange creatures – imaginary problems, first-world problems, third world problems – they can all be suffocatingly real to the individual experiencing them – it’s the reaction to the problem, in effect, that is the problem, rather than the reality of the problem. That is why I don’t like to compare the problems of others as no-one knows what it is like for that person eg., that rich man can’t be depressed as he has everything; or could that celebrity kill themselves – they had it all. Your last stanza is a ripper – the image of being choked!

    • Yes, that old chestnut of it all being relative is true, Gabe, and what you have said here about reaction is the essence of it. With regards to the comparison thing, I find it instructive to reflect on my reaction to different events at different times of my life and how some things that I thought were the end of the world at the time are almost laughable in comparison to others. That and also comparing how others react to similar situations are probably some of the ways we learn to be more positive about life and resilient when we are not naturally so. I don’t necessarily agree with you on making judgements on the problems of others when it comes to some aspects of the celebrity culture – the woe-is-me-my-Botox-went-legsup narcissistic whingeing of the likes of the Kardashians/Bingles etc just creates a culture of complaining about self-inflicted “trials” which makes me want to run from the planet, screaming πŸ™‚ Happy to debate this further with you here (as long as Shirl’s chainsaw is nowhere in sight ;-))

      • hahaha – well, I don’t watch the Bingles and Kardashians of the world – I suppose I was thinking more of people like Amy Winehouse who had such a powerful addiction (there could have been a clue in the name – get the feeling excessive wine/alcohol consumption might have run in the family) – shallow whinging is just pathetic from the celebs with first world problems, I agree. I know what you mean about looking at past dramas – like the first broken heart (this is the end of my life as I know it, I cannot go on, why doesn’t he love me, I love him more than life itself, I can’t go on without him – blah, blah, blah – but oh how it hurts when the heart is green) or my friend’s brother read my diary – how embarrassment – I will never again leave the house πŸ˜‰

        • He read your diary! Oh, noooo! πŸ™‚ A friend of mine read her teenage daughter’s diary and was absolutely horrified – I was very unsympathetic πŸ˜‰

          • It was actually my Dad (names are changed to protect the guilty – haha) – he read my diary and found out I was sneaking off to the local pub on Thursday nights insteard of going to the local shopping centre as I had said – haha – we called the pub the library because it was so boring. I had to go in a disguise after that πŸ˜‰

  4. Very interesting poem, BB. I’m amazed at the way your words of deficiency and not-quite-thereness — impoverished, indolent, sallow, effete, sludge palette, dishwater tincture — can convey such a strong and powerful presence. I’m also wondering if your line spaces are of a different flavor and cadence – shades of Famous Australian Poet?

  5. the last line ‘we donot know gratitude’ sums up a detailed philosophy, some once told me that life tests man through two ways, either taking away from him or giving him. but most people fail the latter.

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