Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

No Man is An Island

31. July 2017

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. –

MEDITATION XVII
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
John Donne

I think that the ‘no man is an island’ clause can be interpreted almost in terms of geopolitics. Here is my take on it.

No man is an island means that Every man is a land-locked nation. Of course there is always room for co-operation however as in any relationship Capabilities matter more than intentions. The individual has no permanent friends, or enemies only permanent interests. The human being is a marionette that can see(1) its own strings, the strings of biology and culture, of causality. These strings control his desires and his aversions and therefore his interests. To cut these strings means death. To put forward his interests with others effectively he has to create a buffer region around him to protect his industrial core. Lets call this buffer region ‘civility’ and the industrial core is his ‘uncensored opinion’.

In effect all interactions between two or more ‘land-locked/non-island’ humans is diplomacy and consequently governed by the laws of social exchange theory.  The nearest ‘non-island’ humans are more likely to have conflicting interests. If a clod is washed away by the sea, this is always a loss for some land-locked humans and a gain for other land-locked humans because you see Europe is not one island nation- one individual but rather a continent of nations with competing interests. Some men’s deaths diminish him but others benefit him because he is involved in mankind. Therefore the bell only tolls for him if it tolls for his individual/national interests(2).

What is the point of this analogy?

It is precisely because ‘No man is an island’ that the bell does not always toll for him. Whereas if he had been an independent agent, an island, so to speak, if he didn’t have a stake in it, then his warm immaterial intentions would have counted rather than the cold hard capabilities that govern him.

Notes:

(1) To an extent

(2) I know it is quite absurd to think of the individual as a nation or of the nation as an individual, this doesn’t make any sense internally, well may be said that symbolically the people are the body of the nation, at any rate often you will find that when countries ‘interact’ with each other almost as if they were individuals and that their interests remain often unchanged, and if the nation can act is if it were individual when interacting with other nations, I don’t it is too far fetched to analyse the behaviour of human beings when they interact with each others as if they are nations.

I can’t write poetry but I did anyway

1. June 2017

At One’s Wit’s End

The Game is up
All first and ‘final’ solutions have by then failed
Death is the Only Consolator
At One’s Wit’s End

There is nothing left to do or be said
Except to watch and wait
As what one loved burns
At One’s Wit’s End

The enemy knocks at the door
Failure that once seemed probable now is inevitable
At One’s Wit’s End.

Death, Your Only Friend waits for you at the back door
Death at the Enemy’s hand or your Friend’s hand
Those are the choices
At One’s Wit’s End

The mind aches and the heart rots,
But it still thinks
It still beats
At One’s Wit’s End

The banging at the front intensifies,
And Death opens the back door
Because one called Her
And then One’s Wit’s Ends.

Fall. Live.

To Live is to Fall
Nations, Religions and Empires fall
But above all,
People fall.

To Live is to Fall
This Fate alone is common to all
Jew, gentile, blackman, white,
Rich and Poor

Men and women are too weak to suffer indefinitely
To fall completely
Humans will form wings in the forms of dreams and illusions
With feathers made of lies and delusions
To raise themselves higher
Only to Fall harder
When the Truth shoots them down

No Longer Human

The Hollow mask of Jocularity And Propriety
Had cracks in them
Madness anxiety crept in

The pills, syringes
The alcohol were not enough
Self-hatred and Pity kept piling up
But not because he knew too little
He knew too much

The large incoherent failure-the City
He had escaped to
Now haunted him
He couldn’t escape from it
He was part of it
It was part of him

Having run out of jocularity
He could no longer be with his ‘comrades’
And having run out of propriety
He sent a telegram to his father:
“Send me your cash and fuck off”
Disqualifies as a human being.

The Observers

Wandering souls with no place to rest
Omnipresent and yet powerless spirits
Lonely as the devil and more envious than he

Outsiders amongst Outsiders
Strangers amongst Strangers
Foreigners amongst Foreigners

Ghosts you see but do not look at
Spirits who see but cannot look
Souls who look but cannot be seeing

Actors who play the role of their audience
In one word, Observers.

The Poisoned Chalice of Love

He thought the antidote to pain was in the chalice
But the only cure for pain is death
Anxiety ends up being the price for his efforts

She becomes an ornament
filled with poison
She always was,
And He was bluffing
Or so he thinks now

A mutually assured misery is ensued
A suicidal policy indeed
A distraction is needed, to lose oneself
To regain the sentiment of Certainty
That he can only gain through Himself
And not through any poisoned chalice
And even then he can always lose it.

The Wine of Desire

Love, Envy, Hate and Happiness-
Different vintages of the same wine
Of the wine of Desire

Red, white, blue
Beauty, Ugliness and Virtue
Are all vignettes of the wine of desire

Life is the grape of desire
And sin and suffering its seed
Death and Fate, the tasters of all desires
But all of them are vintages of desire

Black, Brown, Yellow and Green
The cheapest vintages of desire
But Fate and Determinism with drink all Desire

Youth, Beauty and Health
The lineaments of desire
An ornate picture of life on fire
Hanging from a wall
In a room where Fate sips on Desire
Against Will not without desire.