A bit of cold hard reality for those dupable dreamers – and a warning for the rest of us

Have you had it up to here
with all those creative-come-mystic types going on
about the quiet wonder of the quotidian?

Do you, too, cringe when you read the reviews?
Poet enters into the everyday and emerges in wonderment.
Artist finds numinous splendour in the prosaic stuff of life.

Whatever happened to the daily grind, the brine-soaked
reality of every morning—their minutes
passing like anchoritic decades?

I swear, if I read of one more apple-cheeked author
who stands amazed under an ordinary afternoon
I’m going to shoot myself!

That snow mixed with salt and sand is not marzipan!
It’s slush!

That sunrise is not a host of seraphim with wings of flame!
The burgeoning leaf is not the hale harbinger of…
blah, blah, blah!

It’s chemistry, astronomy, biology.
Its physics! All physics!
Always been physics!

Okay, maybe “sunset is an angel weeping, holding out a bloody sword,” *
but that’s because it’s bloody tired of everyone’s delight in the
predictable movement of the planetary system.
Hark! Everyday is not Christmas. Life is NOT a box of chocolates.
It’s a string of purgatorial Mondays. Or if your lucky,
a boring slide to obscurity.

You want awestruck? Wait for a giant flash on the horizon.
Wait for the four horsemen, the seven trumpets,
the apocalyptic haemorrhage.

Wait for the moon to burst its seams
and bleed its achromatic pall upon the earth.
Then go oohing and awing.

Don’t be a schlub. At least win a lottery.
Then maybe, for a while, you can go
telling people of the élan within the mundane.

For the sake of everything sacred, don’t let them fool you.
Don’t relent to daily wonder. Don’t accede to its innocence.
It only breeds trust in the supposed sufficiency of any given day.

And if that catches fire we’re all screwed.
The staging will crumble,
the ad will decay,

and our edifice-of-envy—with its theatres of rivalry—
will collapse into laughter, uncommon kindness
and true longing.


Mark and Amanda — permission pending

* Bruce Cockburn from “Pacing the Cage”


  1. What? Canceling all unexpired ‘poetic licenses’? Does that then put at risk the freedom, or even disallow one, to coin descriptive onomatopoeic terms like “schlub” that Webster has not yet discovered?

  2. Shiver me timbers, you left the wind blow through those holes, yet let a glimmer of light in laughter, kindness and longing through.

  3. I do enjoy sunsets and sunrises sometimes even with rapture but the world should probably be glad I don’t try to write a poem about them!

  4. Well done Steve. Im a little late to the party but ’twas a good bracing slap on the first day of the new year. You must read Sabbath by Heschel…

    “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” – Heschel

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