Saturday, 13 August 2016

Shallow Wisdom

Of the far-too-many things
which grate against my inner peace,
it is the shallow wisdom

of the ‘I’m more spiritual than you’ brigade
which inspires me, deluded peacenik that I am,
to think thoughts of senseless violence.

Recently, I encountered one such quote,
from a beatified Archbishop,
on the mantelpiece of a holiday home.

In blissfully ironic ignorance
of where it was located, this postcard exhorted me:
Aspire not to have more but to be more.

Be more what? Insightful? Wise? Full of bullshit?
It’s difficult to know where to begin, really, isn’t it?
So let’s not even start. No, I jest.

Let’s start with a knuckle-duster,
and thwack this sanctimonious little comment
full square in its faux-enlightened face.

‘You should aspire to be more quiet,’
I say, above a cacophony of distress,
while lacing up my Size Ten comment-kicking boots.



Sensing that my work with this quote
is nearing its conclusion, I douse it with lighter-fluid,
flick a match, and stare in holy wonder

at the death dance of its briefly flowering flames.
I walk to the kitchen to make a cup of tea
and notice a quote from the Dalai Lama stuck to the fridge.

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