Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

*Stranger in Strange Crowd*


Dreams stranger’s path divide
from crowd’s uneven t[h]read
who's tissue, issues poorly understood, through dread
is left behind, swirls second rate as flotsam on life's tide,
noise windmills, senses silent, life-blood sped,
bled white, so often fearing fear, by wisdom wide,
unblessed, unsteady set sights low instead.

Despite stress, sentiments denied, imagination set aside,
stranger story stores till head heeds heart, until desires well led
fire understanding rich allied with empathy sustaining ride.
Swift Pegasus is supplied
with neither saddle, A to Zed accoutrements life tears to shreds
when vested interests, motives pure collide.

Defy temptations of soft ride
along straight road which, comfort fed,
selects ‘safe way’, too often dreads
free choice, autonomy. Self-pride
corresponds to quest for bread.

Distrust that moment Fortune’s tide
entwines in fickle thread
conformity, convention wed.
Scorn empty homage, those who glide
through vain p[l]ain life, misled.

Survival instinct, safe homestead, a ‘living wage’, priorities
appear, as opportunities to seize as each spins finite set
tripped, snipped, then ripped by Norms with ease.

Far from madding crowd who dares assign
himself true rôle in life, who thinks,
who sifts chaff, grain, drains lees from wine, palms pearls from swine?
Who, intact, acts and interacts, discerning fiction, facts,

opposes expedience, authority which hoodwinks
manipulated herd unheard, which lacks
true overview impartial, thus reacts
rather than responds, its armour: chinks.
On each new generation weigh rigid systems spawned by Fate unkind.
As pawns most men play puppet parts in Time’s relay game of tiddly-winks.

Is search for self through mirrored minds
just base reflection on sight lost?
Insisting on base 'skills' man finds
intuitions atrophy: cost
greater than he thinks.

We must rethink, must redefine
reference frames most use today,
foresee the patterns Change will sign
as chance advances sans delay,
prints the future’s inks.

Stranger in crowd learns to disguise
rainbow to grey coats' pinstripe ways of thought,
'won't look too good nor talk too wise',
yet still attracts attention, caught
by paradox or kinks.

Stranger in crowd in any guise
knows his goal’s not what others taught,
retains ability surprise: not what they thought
[s]he thought they thought they sought.
Reward: solitude's sinks.

Learning is a process which reminds
of staged cocoon to chrysalid
endlessly repeated until hope's blinds
are drawn, we're hid, nailed neath yoke coffin lid,
'and Lethewards do sink.'

Restraints of social intercourse
pass through a metamorphosis
soon held acceptable divorce
none dare dismiss
between who sips, who drinks
Pierian spring whose sprays revitalize
the search for source.
New challenges set minds ablaze,
speed rate man needs to change his course,
as once wild world shrinks.

It is difficult to integrate
progress, change, to leave behind
tenets once held inviolate:
the stays and props once used to bind
Earth to its own s[t]inks.

When man from monkey split, force fields
lost ground to sleight of hand although
as last recourse they’re held to shield.
Yet Information Age remoulds
our clay as on the brink
of sensing other ways to play
life’s game exist outside strife the past
epitomized, seek interplay
between odd intuitions cast
off once as missing links.

Banished be those whose actions snide emotions undermine, gainsaid
have equity and ethics shed, dropped principles, stopped bona fide
voice for free choice ahead.

Responsibilities most dread, endure more than participate,
ignore past’s lessons future spread, surrender birthright, hopes berate,
fear future watershed.

Self-born doubt, consistent scorn, provide a fertile breeding ground for fear
of validation, absent guide. Most tremble, fearing onward ride unclear,
paralysis abed.

Decades dovetail as wa[l]king dead
observing others from the side,
halt, hesitate from birth to bed,
stagnate, refusing to decide,
seem stillborn their sands sped.

Man needs advancement from inside,
excluding bias, stranger's stride
divides from superficial slide,
a different tread would thread
through life, aims flame horizons wide.

Open mind must never be denied.
Shun those whose lower standards, led
through mirage mind-sets lined with lead,
to think themselves ahead!

P.S. Persto et Praesto...

Stranger in Strange Land must learn to grock
between appearances, nor spurn, nor lock,
but key into essentials, yet stay free
as world awakens to its Future Shock.

Here high I.Q. or gift of second sight
fail in the scales however smart or bright,
if peace of mind, serenity, few find
to burnish daily bind with inner light.

Yet inner light is what Life's all about.
Who cares a curse for economic clout
as purse may fail but heart which true to self
remains, for cash cares little, conquers doubt.

27 September 1996,19 March 2005,16 December 2006 12 September 2008
robi03_1089_robi03_0000 XXX_EJX
for previous version see below


Stranger in Strange Crowd




Dreams stranger’s path divide
from crowd’s uneven t[h]read.
Second rate, silent, life-blood bled,
most fear, unblessed by wisdom wide,
set sights low instead.

Despite stress, thoughts unreplied,
imagination set aside,
stranger story stores till head
heeds heart, until desires well lead,
fire empathy allied
with understanding rich to ride
upon swift Pegasus supplied
with neither saddle, A to Zed
accoutrements life tears to shreds
when motives collide.

Defy temptations of soft ride,
along straight road which, comfort fed,
selects ‘safe way’, too often dreads
free choice, autonomy, - self-pride
reflecting quest for bread.

Distrust that moment Fortune’s tide
entwines in fickle thread
conformity, convention wed,
pays empty homage just to glide
through vain p[l]ain life, misled.

Survival instinct, safe homestead,
a ‘living wage’ priorities
appear, as opportunities
to seize as each spins finite set
cut by the Norms with ease.

Far from madding crowd who dares assign
himself true rôle in life, who thinks,
who sifts chaff, grain, drains lees from wine,
palms pearls from swine, spurns authority
politic which hoodwinks
manipulated masses blind.
Upon each generation weigh,
rigid systems spawned by Fate unkind,
pawns play puppet parts in Time’s relay
game of tiddly-winks.

Is search for self through mirrored minds
only reflection on sight lost?
Insisting on base ‘skills’ man finds
intuitions atrophy - cost
greater than he thinks.

We must rethink, must redefine
reference frames most use today,
foresee the patterns Change will sign
as chance advances sans delay,
prints the future’s inks.

Stranger in crowd learns to disguise
rainbow to grey coats' pinstripe ways of thought,
'won't look too good nor talk too wise'
yet still attracts attention, caught
by paradox or kinks.

Stranger in crowd in any guise
knows his goal’s not what others taught,
retains ability surprise -
not what they thought [s]he thought they thought they sought, -
exits solitude's sinks.

Learning’s a process which reminds
of staged cocoon to chrysalid
endlessly repeated till blinds
drawn, we are hid ‘neath coffin lid,
‘and Lethewards do sink.’

Restraints of social intercourse
pass through a metamorphosis
soon held acceptable divorce
none dare dismiss
between who sips, who drinks
deep knowledge spring whose sprays
revitalize the search for source.
New challenges set minds ablaze,
speed rate man needs to change his course,
as once wild world shrinks.

Its difficult to integrate
evolutions which leave behind
tenets once held inviolate –
the stays and props once used to bind
Earth to its own s[t]inks.

When man from monkey split, force fields
lost ground to sleight of hand although
as last recourse they’re held to shield.
Yet Information Age remoulds
our clay as on the brink
of sensing other ways to play
life’s game exist outside strife the past
epitomized, seek interplay
between odd intuitions cast
off once as missing links.

Banished be those whose actions snide
emotions undermine, gainsaid
have equity and ethics shed,
dropped principles, stopped bona fide
voice for choice ahead.

Responsibilities most dread,
endure more than participate,
surrender birthright, hopes berate,
ignore past’s lessons future spread
as watershed.

Self-born doubt, consistent scorn, provide
a fertile breeding ground for fear,
men squat beside an onward ride unclear
of validation, which can’t guide,

Decades dovetail as wa[l]king dead -
observing others from the side,
stagnate, refusing to decide.
Most hesitate from birth to bed
seem stillborn their sands sped

Man needs advancement from inside,
excluding bias, - stranger's stride
divides from superficial slide
a different tread would thread
through life, horizons wide
aims at, will not be denied
like those whose lowered standards led,
through mirage mind-sets lined with lead,
to think themselves ahead!


P.S. Persto et Praesto...

Stranger in Strange Land must learn to grock
between appearances, nor spurn, nor lock,
but key into essentials, yet stay free
as world awakens to its Future Shock.

Here high I.Q. or gift of second sight
fail in the scales however smart or bright,
if peace of mind, serenity, none find
to burnish daily bind with inner light.

Yet inner light is what Life's all about.
Who cares a curse for economic clout
as purse may fail but heart which true to self
remains, for cash cares little, conquers doubt.


27 September 1996,19 March 2005,16 December 2006 see below ‘Search’ initial and alternate version of this poem and ‘His Place is Precious’

Search
Is the search for self through mirrored minds
only a reflection on sight lost?
Concentrating on base ‘skills’ man finds
intuitions atrophy - the cost
is greater than he thinks.

Man must think again, must redefine
the frames of reference most still use today,
anticipating patterns Change will sign
as chance advancements which won’t brook delay,
to print the future’s inks.

Far from the madding crowd who can assign
himself a goal in life, true rôle to play?
Who can sift chaff from grain, drain lees from wine,
palm pearls from swine, avoiding interplay
politic which hoodwinks

the masses whose manipulation blind
hard on each generation’s hopes does weigh,
as if all pawns were, spawned by Fate unkind
to play pale puppet parts in Time’s relay
game of tiddly-winks.

Learning is a process which reminds
one of stages, cocoon to chrysalid,
endlessly repeated till the blinds
are drawn, until we’re nailed beneath a lid,
'and Lethewards do sink.'

Yet the restraints of social intercourse
are passing through a metamorphosis
which soon shall be accepted as divorce
that no-one will be able to dismiss
between who sips, who drinks

deep the spring of knowledge whose fair sprays
revitalize the system’s search for source.
Today new magic sets the mind ablaze!
The speed at which mankind is changing course,
as the once wild world shrinks,

is difficult to integrate, the ways
conceptions will evolve and leave behind
tenets once inviolate, the stays
and props the passing age employs to bind
itself to its own stinks.

When man and monkeys’ trees split, fields of force
lost ground to sleight of hand from day to day,
although the former shield stayed, last recourse.
Yet as the information age remoulds our clay
it seems we’re on the brink

Of consciousness of other ways to play
the game of life outside that strife the past
epitomized, exploring interplay
between internal motivations cast
off once as missing links!
27 September 1996

His Place is Precious
Turn from temptations of soft ride
along straight road of safety, comfort, ease, well fed,
where peace eternal, free from pride,
appeals, appears an easy answer when all’s said.

Distrust that moment when the tide
of Fortune, at the flood, entwines in fickle thread,
enticing, sickled Time at side,
man with her siren song: by lust, ambitions, led.

The silent seconds, spendthrift, greedy glide:
dovetail decades to centuries for waiting dead,
so few of whom dared seek inside
earth’s secret soul. Seemed stillborn when their hour was sped.

All those who strive to hitch a ride
at the expense of others, led
by selfishness unjustified
accounts must render overhead.

Whate’er the reasons that decide
the insolence of the individual; bled
by fears, or blessed by wisdom wide,
or, hope denied, twisting in heat fond heart or head,

his place is precious. Don’t deride
the diff’rences that oft divide his awkward tread
from those who, superficial, slide
through life, those most behind who think themselves ahead!
10 October 1981

Submitted: Saturday, December 16, 2006
Edited: Monday, November 25, 2013

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