LEADERS - not followers

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


For d'verse Poets


As you already well know
it only takes a second 
of idle conversation…

A lapse of concentration 
transforms a situation 
from random speculation 
to scenes of devastation
as ideas develop.

At last obsession takes hold 
concepts become distorted… 
and it’s all downhill from there…

Disturbed imagination
interrupted train of thought…

Normal service is resumed
but due to circumstances 
beyond anyone’s control… 
out of reach of influence 
of impartial, outside help 
independent observers
or unbiased referees… 
the mechanics of the mind... 
dangerous daydreams… take hold.

Unable to sleep at night
logic and reason are lost...

A world of whims without walls
events without witnesses
instruments of self-neglect 
and erratic behavior 
are all at your disposal 
with unlimited access…

No constraints, restrictions.
Decisions go unchallenged; 
all departures are delayed 
as new arrivals check in.

All appointments are cancelled 
all ambitions unfulfilled 
and of course, all bets are off...

Left to your own devices
seeds of apathy are sown
and uncertainty takes root…

And now you find you’re living 
on a piss-poor diet of 
pessimistic projections
and worst-case scenarios
with cynical points of view
until prophecies bear fruit
and new attitudes are born…

which aren't necessarily 
what anyone would describe 
as healthy, wholesome values.

No good deed goes unpunished
which is just as well because 
at this very moment, you’re 
only scratching the surface…

Locked in your troubled conscience
hidden in your sub-conscious
issues rise to the surface
which of course are followed by 
appeals for absolution.

However, predictably
your petitions go unheard…

No-one knows, and no-one cares…

Someone must pay the penance; 
you know that person is you.
But your painful, plaintive pleas 
are not acts of contrition…

No need to apologise 
for the deeds of yesterday
for which you have no regrets…

Actions you can’t justify
but actions nevertheless… 
if anyone ever asked.

Behind your sinister smile
you've never tried to disguise 
your answer to the question
ever since all the fat cats 
went away… permanently, 
leaving now fat mice to play… 
inventing Dangerous Games 
to play… when the time is right.

And so the games continue…

This piece is an extract from my ebook In Decline


  1. first it sounded like the things slip away and the narrator can do nothing to hold them - i was thinking depression first - in the last part i wonder what brought him there - it is a bit like playing with the fire and walking to the furthest edge of the abyss - knowing where it will take him... tightly penned stan

  2. nice rather thump to this...and it becomes a slippery slope with no chance of purchase...the mind will do just that if we let it for sure....overwhelming and felt....

  3. I think there is a story behind this poem, a person behind this poem. It leaves me with lots of questions.

  4. The dangerous games that people play ~ Enjoyed the story specially this part:

    Someone must pay the penance;
    you know that person is you.
    But your painful, plaintive pleas
    are not acts of contrition…

  5. the whirling, swirling thought processes...
    yes, this

  6. Feels like this took off on its own momentum.>KB

  7. Dear God, Stan! Are you talking about the GOP in the USA, because they fit this perfectly. Strong piece of writing.


  8. Haha! I have to agree with Pamela.

    This is quite jarring and deep - a challenging and though-provoking read, Stan.