Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Signs

were all over
the streets

of simultaneity

and the society
was the society

of the street signs
and billboards

and its poverty
was an absence

of something
partly completed

but of course
in the wreckage

there was mis-

after all it was
only our lifeworld

with its newly shifted
levels of reality

its incidental


  1. An evocative piece this. I think the short lines, like gasps for breath, work especially well. I’ve read it over several times now and it flows well.

  2. Thanks Jim, I tried for the slogan effect you describe through the medium of billboards which possess the quality of being able to breed and multiply as faster than rabbits.

  3. You are right about the bill boards Gwilym.

  4. Thanks Pat. The propaganda poster chosen promotes the idea that the cost of caring for mentally handicapped persons in Nazi Germany is a heavy weight on the broad shoulders of the the healthy.

    The poem is a caution that we should beware of the slogan and headline writers' tricks which are designed to lead us down the garden path rather than inform intelligently.

    In these uncertain times we must remain vigilant.

  5. Gwilym...thankyou so much for this superb poem. The lines are brilliant and the sparseness of the concepts only makes it more real. i do think as well that we have to be vigilant as it is so easy for us as a nation to be lazy and shallow in our understanding of the future course of history. Extremes always find a foothold when times are chaotic.

  6. Thanks Gerry,
    When confronted by the extremists we must remember that everything is comparative and that in reality in the UK there is very little to get extreme about - but if you currently live in sub-Saharan West Africa and your kids are starving to death and you see that the EU's 4th richest country, in this example Austria, has pledged to reduce to the 'generous' overseas aid sum to 0.27% of its gross national product then I think that's something tovget 'extreme' about. So it appears to me that if we want to get 'extreme' that's OK so long as we are getting 'extreme' about things that matter.
    In Italy there's now a fuss about buildings not meeting earthquake standards. Well, one of the biggest Italian property owners whose buildings can be depended upon to fall down in earthquakes is on the subject in silentium.

  7. I cite them by way of illustration and I think making a valid point.


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