Numb

I am untouched by death, it seems
My brow so cool, and arid eye
No flicker at the suicide scenes
Of friend that waited, soon to die

And hastened with impatient crime
To strike a blow and choose his time.

Not I, the sobbing, shrieking wreck
That tears their clothes and hair to match
The inner maelstrom kept in check
You’d scarcely hear my voice – the catch

Unnoticed by my colleague’s grin
Unless I choose to let them in.

At reading of another act
Of violence in public space
It is not terror strikes my heart
I cannot lie to save my face

Though all around are tearing fast
I’m calm and cool – it brushes past.

On hearing tales of chemicals
That kill en-masse, so far away
Of sniping shooters winging girls
Who want to go to school today

The sum of Arab Springs and Falls
Cannot unbuild emotive walls.

I’ve known it worse, or so we say
Explosions and effects galore
I saw a film, but yesterday
I can’t be feeling any more

Of Realism, High-def blow
Paid for my ticket, saw the show.

Though broadcast pictures fill the News
I’ve seen too many other views
In my short life to be amused
By one more shot of life, abused

While Western minds are overfed
On what we’re sold, and so, misled.

What heartstrings I have left to tug
Beside ideas I fondly kept
Lie buried underneath the rug
Old fashioned views, soft-celled, inept

Far too naive to hold so late
Beyond their expiration date.

So-and-so used to be famous. I wonder what happened to him…

The face of an eighties screen god
Lately gone to seed
Proclaiming his perseverance
Propelled by a pressing need

To find his image one more time
Promoted to the heights
And finally be recognised
Back where he spends his nights

He sighs and sips his coffee
His shades kept on inside
In hopes of being spotted
By more than spousal pride

But doomed to disappointment
No autographs are sought
He finishes his drink in silence
Of a pregnant sort

And slipping past his escort
He slouches off to pee
Still unacknowledged by the crowds
That queue to buy their tea

He passes by the waitress
With no more than a wink
She fancies he’s expressed his thanks
For more than just the drink