Poetry Files. Part 11 Signs from the old Times. From Mental Fight. By Ben Okri.

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Fifty Strong Fifty poems chosen by teenagers for teenagers
Published by the South Bank Centre, London
Part 11 Signs from the old Times

From Mental Fight 

Ben Okri



What will we choose?
Will we allow ourselves to descend
Into universal chaos and darkness?
A world without hope, without wholeness
Without moorings, without light
Without possibility for mental fight,
A world breeding mass murderers
Energy vampires, serial killers
With minds spinning in anomie and amorality
With murder, rape, genocide as normality?
Or will we allow ourselves merely to drift
Into an era of more of the same, without shame,
Without wonder or excitement,
Just the same low-grade entertainment,
An era boring and predictable
‘flat, stale, weary and unprofitable’
In which we drift along
Too bored and too passive to care
About what strange realities rear
Their heads in our days and nights,
Till we awake too late to the death of our rights
Too late to do anything
Too late for thinking
About what we have allowed
To take over our lives
While we cruised along in casual flight
Mildly indifferent to storm or sunlight?


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