This is yesterday’s news today, or possibly
tomorrow’s news from yesterday. You
have brought the Sunday papers round,
oblivious to the fact we read online
and that this feels like déjà vu. I wonder
if Ingmar Bergman was right? Will I be
‘a better ghost than I am a human being’?
I’ll let you know. In the meantime
there’s the tennis or football to watch,
and politics to ignore. Democracy
is dying but that is nothing compared
to Richard, Dad or my other friends
who are not with us any more. This
is old news too, but it makes me cry
when I think about the people gone.
There are rows of cracked stones in
the cemetery near home, but I have
nowhere to grieve, because we burn
the bodies now. Lucy said some people
carry on emailing the dead, holding
a one-sided conversation; others say
they commune and speak with their
loved ones. I think it’s a bit of a joke,
but then I’ve spent years grieving
for people I hardly knew but wished
I had, and for those I knew well
who have gone. You can try and live
for the now but there’s a sense of
repetition, a relentless concern with
getting ahead, of keeping up and
using each day before it disappears.
It will, I know, however much time
is just a constructed idea we use
to bully and persuade ourselves
there are more things to do.
The world won’t end without us,
it’s us who will disappear, whatever
we do to try and make our mark.
For me it’s words and paintings,
others run fast or eat the most pies.
We’re all going to be forgot.
From The Geometric Kingdom, a book by Maria Stadnicka & Rupert Loydell,