What are we “living longer” for?
A few years more of being poor
To reach an age of destitution,
Helpless in dependency?
To be neglected; disrespected?
Sitting in the same old chair
In mean and squalid institutions,
Half aware, not really there?
Or, horror! With a lucid mind,
Enduring time and yet more time
To witness co-invented wars;
To weep at wasted brain and brawn?
Our social fabric worn and torn
To mourn lost generations born
Onto a scrapheap, harshly built
By systematic, alternating turns
Of greed and guilt.
“I’m glad I am the age I am,” she said.
“I’m grateful that the road behind
Is longer than my road ahead,
For all I see is war and fear
And grasping greed by grubby hands:
The dark night of the Soul of Man
Enveloping all creeds and lands.
“There’s poison in the hearts of men,” she said.
“An undiluted self-belief and blinding faith
Casts bloody shadows, hollows Hope
And spreads an everlasting hate
Which fashions cold and steals Life’s hallowed Grace.
“There is a madness in the minds of men,
Whose messianic propagations bend
The Golden Bough and fray the sacred threads,
Which then, in haste, they darn with fœtid patches
Lest the Light be glimpsed –
The Truth lies in the gaps,” she said.
‘Don’t get old‘ – Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian, December 2016