The Pathless Forest

If Modernism was
Two paths, in a wood,
Slightly differently travelled

What is today?

Are we now just standing in the middle of a forest
Devoid of obvious pathways
Or obvious direction forward?

I stand there for a while

To the left is a tree falling
Silently

Next to 2 birds in a bush
Damning that wretched hand

And to the right is a campsite with many, many cooks spoiling a BBQ broth,
Yelling: “Many hands make light work!”

And behind them a thousand bemused and wide-eyed teenagers screaming:
“What the hell am I supposed to do!”
As they frantically upload
Preferentially framed party photos

And above a hundred helicopters make sight through the thicket
With trained guns on us all
And loudspeakers repeating endlessly:”Kim’s Wedding Dress! Kim’s Wedding Dress!”

Now I look ahead, and hundreds of slightly greying BoomBabies
With comfy shoes and pastel shirts and foldout chairs
Gnash their teeth in controlled aggression at those of us behind,
Growling: “You have it easy. In my day there was none of that!”
And I wonder what they mean by that exactly…

And everywhere in this pathless forest there is noise,
And people yelling,
Or crying and laughing,
And colours so bright and grotesque and appetizing and out of reach
And futures so vague and vibrant and vapid
And viable

That I almost feel like I could step forward anywhere at all
And it wouldn’t make a difference

And so I look down
And I see the small space of this forest that I inhabit
With two small feet
Planted firmly
Which seem more solid than all the world and its possibilities
And I feel strong

Strong enough to move forwards
In this pathless forest

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