The Verdict [poem]
The coroner (a meaty sort of man
whose mother made him sit for hours writing out:
“I must not touch my willy with my hand”)
composed a so-called solemn face
because he was the boss man in that haunted
clutch-at-straws deliberating place
and said with gravitas:
“The deceased took his own life
while the balance of his mind
had been disturbed”.
Just then a loud explosion rocked the room.
Everybody ducked instinctively
as if a bomb had made the boom.
But there, instead, a haze of reddish smoke
descended from the oaken panels overhead
succeeded by a voice of indignation –
cry of anguish at this flagrant frowned
“How dare you slur my sanity in that mean and spiteful way.
Never was my mind so crystal clear as on that
coldly-destined shark-infested fateful day.
I’m hurt and chagrined you could say
I had no balance, poise or clarity
when, faced with life’s insane barbarity,
I sought a door – and found it (plus some more).
And what’s that crazy shit about?
‘He struggled with depression all his life’.
You should have said instead:
‘It galled his softly sooning soul to learn
life’s hugest lesson that the world is based on
blatant lies, corruption and oppression
with treachery, betrayal, hate, hypocrisy, aggression,
hypnosis of the mass of minds (that’s all one finds)
and everywhere confusion, dark delusion, superstition
and collusion, while narcissists and bobble-heads
and swagger-walking petalheads disguising
minds of potty-putty pignorance – a masquerade –
engage in trade, drink bourbon on the rocks
while ‘over there’ kilometre-deep aftershocks
deface the globe disrobing faceless millions.’
And as for you
(the speaking cloud now made a ruddy shroud
around the squidgy jowl-clad coroner’s form)
pontificating from your courtly throne –
your fat ass (though you’re not alone)
deciding things of which you have no ken.
For only if you stood inside my canvas shoes
and grasped the thoughts which plague
my soul – my soaring sinking roaring drinking
neverendly thinking soul –
could you then make pronouncements
with impunity upon my state of mind.
A salutary silence
hung across that judgement room.
A woman’s tear fell to the ground
and made a loud tsunami sound
while bailiffs whispered in distress –
their ordered room a mess.
The coroner’s face was white as clay.
Somehow it looked remoulded on this
booming red-cloud day.
A voice had spoken from the grave –
the words a scalding shower which
hopefully would change the face of
future verdicts in that cigar-smoke-scenting
smugly condescending flowerless wooden place.
© Alan Morrison, 2013