Facets of Friendship, Part 1: “Friends Lite” [poem]

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Just one little puff falls fruitly from my lips
and lighter atoms scatter —
not from any words I quip but through the fact
that to their pride what I say matters
(not in any helpful sense for I simply bend
their rigid little ears, unleash their inner fears,
send what tiny calm in them was left
into some frozen frayed forgettery).

It’s all so plain predictable
you’ll see it in their eyes
their bland responses clearly show
they’re only on the ride until the depth gauge
measures half a metre
then they panic
hoist Blue Peter
(quickly run aground).

The leading hallmark of these types
(what I can only call “Friends Lite”)
is that they love to mollify
the words I boldly speak
swaddle them with hide and seek
(never grasp a nettle by the leaves
or the bull by the horns
never hold a rose and place
a hand around the thorns)
always qualify mitigate
pacify and then placate
mellowize and moderayte
lessen subdue dissipate
cushion quell deactivate
curb and quash alleviate
ease appease and palliate
soften temper lessen deaden
to put some leaden trousers
on my mind’s long sprintful legs

Mediocrity waits around the corner thus
to ambush with its shallow-watered ponds
and lily-livered pretty-petalled fronds
littering the surface (the operative word)
while all the while
u n d e r n e a t h
a maelstrom makes its murkylurky presence
felt to those who dare to take the risk of making
vivid deep and fathomless fiery wreaths
for reasons I’ve already disinterred.

Just one puff from my lithely lips
(should never make them splutter
just because they’re not familiar with the
worded lightdarkdeepish bubbles
uttered [with no trace of stubble] from
my forthright facehole) shouldn’t
cause such palisades to be erected
barricades to be effected all
because their blandsomeness
could never be reflected in
the microscoping mirror of my eyes.

O when will these friends contemplate
the iceberg pasts and social forces
engineered to alter courses
rend’ring them aghast (contortive)
hind’ring us from congregating
hamp’ring us from relocating
submarinal plateaus waiting for
our summits
in the deep!

(Coming next: Part 2, “True Friends“)

© 2011, Alan Morrison

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