Mice and Men


You can fool most of the people most of the time,
And that´s good enough for government work.


I have always taken to myself the role of clown or jester.
The frank exponent of radical fallibility.
That everyone, without exception, is, at times,
An arsehole, and much more often than they think,
And most of all when no one´s looking.
That no-one is ever right all of the time, if ever.
This obliges me to always haunt the edges
Of those ceremonies by which the world
Comes to belong, each to and in the all.
Belonging is for others. As the wise man said,
I would not belong to any tribe
That would have me for a member.
A tragic post perhaps?
But does not someone have to do it?
And it pays well, in ways hard to explain.
I take self-doubt to be the beginning of all wisdom.
Confidence is always misplaced, until all other positions
Have been tried, and proved wanting.


If there truly be no soul,
And men are really only what they seem,
Then my indignance at this vicious, crummy world
Is not misplaced. For each wicked man
Redeemed, removed, reformed,
At least one more stands to take his place.
For each fool made wiser,
Each ignorance enlightened,
Each bigotry placated and
Each hate with compassion tempered,
A queue stretches, all the way
To Jupiter and back,
Of eager applicants to the post vacated.
In the tyrant, the gangster, or the miser,
Some little shining spirit germ must yet reside,
Concealed, if this world is to be tolerated.
So, there has to be, it seems to me,
At least the possibility of soul.
Else, why bother breathe this air at all?

Copyright © John Ferngrove 2009