Poem for an Ancient Bard

Never mind that there’s no central heating...
(winter won’t last forever).
Never mind that there’s no indoor plumbing...
(we’ll wash this spring).
Forget that there’s a plague raging just beyond the horizon
in some not too distant town...
(we’ll go around it).
Never mind that there’s no electricity, no dentistry,
no refrigeration, nothing to stave off the inevitability of decay.

Ours is a world lit only by fire,
driven from cradle to grave mostly by muscle.
In squalor and filth, in superstition and injustice,
our days are a paradox of longer hours...
yet years that come more quickly.

As for me, I know nothing of a better world...
only: that I would make it so...
one note at a time.

Owain Phyfe (1997)

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