Symbols of Civilised Behaviour

Unpublished pieces


It is cold out this morning.

The frost twinkles on the grass
like tiny pieces of glass sprinkled casually
across the lawn.

Sip a glass of sherry, shut the door and turn
up the heat. Drop the blinds and pretend
that it is isolation time.

Pacing nervously through the house
seeking symbols of civilised behaviour.

Where have they been put,
those rules of conduct that
buffer us from one another?

God forbid that we react
to one another in truth and honest

"How are you?"
"Fine, thank you, and how are you?"
So begins the social conversation.

Comfort in paranoid delusions.
Security in purring tones of
pretence and disguises.

I think I'll have a good day!
I think I will, for I have been
instructed to do so by every voice
that has chattered to me in the
last twenty four hours.

Coming home last night I somehow
misplaced the structure of civilization.


Symbols of civilized behaviour.

Perhaps it will be necessary to sprinkle
real glass across the lawn. A new state of
mind to splatter across the grass.

Don't come near, you'll cut yourself.
Don't open your eyes, you
might see me.

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mlevesque's picture

a stunning piece ~I like!

a stunning piece ~I like!

Vive le Quebec libre!

Zephyra's picture


Well maybe I will quit telling people to have a good day, instead I may say I HOPE you have a good day.  Sounds like you're having a tough time dealing with some things going on, or maybe just feelings.  I hope things turn around and you can feel less lost and more at peace.