Divine Madness #2

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.

— Salvador Dali


There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that “remembered” a wholly unreal past. There is no logically necessary connection between events at different times; therefore nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis that the world began five minutes ago.

— Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind (1921), p. 159 Full text online


Am I looking for a life

in all the wrong places?

In random poetic noises

subserving my death wish?

In flighty words dissolving

my clotted psychic stasis?


Is all of my life eventually but

a sullen and traumatic effort

in one-way space-time traffic?


Am I looking for a life

in all the wrong places?

In mute electric tides

where the dead have their heaven?


In the deep silent shadow

where I have sung myself to sleep?

Where the heat of my flesh may languidly waste

as soothing nightmares shine their light?


And the mad poet cried:


O wayward rays of sunlight among the haloed trees –

I’ll paint my vision across the innocent sky!

O gentle madness!

In your promise are things which torment me –

things which I cannot drop because they are too wry!

Unto Thee I will sing seven songs – and the clouds always come! always come!


Am I looking for life

in all the wrong places,

among soaring lies?

Squinting their eyes,

the clowns toil and toil,

piping ancient moonlight

across my future gravesite

into the


soil – – –






Peter Bies © 2010







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