Marcus Aurelius Apothecary/Marcus Aurelius Arrested


Will you sample this ancient
Esoteric-exoteric substance?
It curbs compulsive speech and holds to rein impulsive action
It finds a sound response without replying in like kind
It allows a radiant balance
It upholds the Golden Section

It polishes the Philosopher’s Stone
Of all ‘smart drugs’ most ancient and far smarter
Forgotten to mankind till now rekindled
Having two millennia in reserve
To lead into perception of the Timeless
Spiritual awakening at the heart of life itself

‘Sobriety’ the name some know it by
Or that oriental compound ‘Everyday Mind’
A ‘Pearl of Great Price’ to those most apt to ‘lose it’
And to those not yet habituated
I add ‘Ten-Second Delay’
Sobriety   yet not as we know it

Not a mere abstention
From uncorking the Genii’s bottle  
But let us consider it time to pause   –
In man’s intrepid search
For new sensation   skill   and acquisition
His stimulant-depressants have played the greater part

Can there ever be sober governance?
Extremists may suggest
I introduce ‘Sobriety’ into our water course
When I reply it is already there   –
In water   and in air   and in the light
They seem both disappointed and appalled

As well they might considering
Substances they plotted to put there
To preach ‘expanded mind’ as it contracted
In service of material revolution   –
Where Art might thrive to advertise a Cause
There to be summarily abandoned
To realise inner direction
Tested by time and reason
To honour our true selves
That is sober art the gods admire



Hubris brings a swift descent
Neither must we seek
Our former home resumed within the womb
Life is a line so few can walk   –
I was stopped and breathalysed for being sober!

While self-intoxicated crowds roamed free
Pursuing wealth and fame beyond restraint

My lawyer gods are otherwise engaged
Delayed upon their intergalactic golf-course

So for a while this ‘jail’ here must suffice   –
‘Get your head down sonny   sleep it off’


©Bernard Saint
© Illustration: Claire Palmer



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