The Intellectual

The Intellectual

Lionel Windsor 2002

Careless musings on electrons and Byron are scattered
By the late night TV news.
“Right to Lifers march on Parliament”.
Even now, poor souls staunchly defend their cause,
Oblivious to postmodern thinking.
You’ve been there, done that;
Old-fashioned notions haunt your red youth.

As you flick the switch in nonchalant disgust
The latest hit throbs from a distant daughter’s bedroom:
“Tomorrow, will you love me?”
No need to listen, tomorrow it is gone,
A matt plastic cover to yesterday’s melted refuse.
Staring at you blankly from the junk-strewn table
Is the swirling, pastel cover of a half-read copy
Of “Postmodern Spirituality”,
But all you can do is stare blankly back
Until it fills your eyes, and turns them inwards . . .

It’s cold in here.
Bitter winds of calm indifference drift fiercely through your open mind
And leave their pastel grime behind.
Butterfly ideas, dried and pressed
Are preserved in a million sterile specimen cases.
And quietly hiding, ashamed in a breezeless corner, is one glass jar
Adorned with lifelong care, lined with velvet, labelled “truth”.
But it is empty.
Your greatest fear
Is that this jar, once filled, will burst
And the living fury of one it cannot hold
Will smash your specimens, and pierce to your heart.

(slightly adapted from an earlier poem written in 1991)
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