Essential Products For Modern Living


Artwork by Jane Basil. Original image:ña)_7.jpg

He looks like any other man
unique and different
like any other man
maybe his shoulders stoop
or they fling wide
His smile is one of a saint
or a scarlet horned demon
Tall he is
or possibly short
with gnarled smooth
long short fingers
on his changeling hand.

Multiplied a million times
he cries out his wears
the table groans
beneath the weight
of a thousand temptations.

Our designer heels
press dents
into the hungry soil
compacting it
it whimpers its plea
for worms to fluff it
for humus to feed it
for grass to protect it
for redemption
from its gritty sterility.

We marvel
at the colourful spectacle
a myriad of accessories
for graceful living
unfold before our greedy eyes
in this essential
bizarre bazarre
longed for for so long

stalls stretch to the horizon
visibility marred in places
by a contrary oak tree
if we cut it down
it will crush the valuables

we leave it
to starve

Neon lights
wink promiscuously
like pimps in pink cadillacs
they attract the eye
tickle latent lust
til you want a taste

but tasting isn’t enough.

How did we manage our lives before the invention of the designer handbag – before manufacturers created co-ordinated kitchen fittings and fiddle-de-dees?

“Look! There is the sweetest doorstop over there and who knows when I may need to stop the door from closing?”

“But it won’t match our living room décor.”

“It’s part of a range, so we could purchase everything.
I was tired of our curtains anyway.”

beyond our interest
another starving child
wheezes its last breath.
After a moment of silence
the mother screams out her anguish
and a nation continues to weep
into the dust.

Somewhere walls crumble, crushing our dispensable slaves.

© Jane Paterson Basil


7 thoughts on “Essential Products For Modern Living

    1. Thank you. This poem was difficult inplacws, because I was picturing countryside, once beautiful, covered with market stalls all the way to the horizon, but I’m not sure that the vision comes across.
      I have a real problem with mass consumerism – so much so that I avoid buying anything new if I can find it second-hand, and I don’t get things that I don’t really need.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You may have had fun with it, but it was very, very poignant. I remember being in the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian looking at a picture of the pyramids in Egypt. One of them was being worked on, probably preservation or something. And around the base of the pyramid there was a bizarre and odd shaped houses. I couldn’t help but think how those pyramids were built on the backs of so many slaves.

    Then in a different museum we saw pictures of some of the monuments right there in D.C. when they were being built and the same kind of chaos was going on around, though not bizarres. No, today is the day the poor people surround D.C. That area has the poorest school system in the country. And once you’re away from that tricked out area around the mall, the housing gets really sucky.

    I have to say I don’t see much difference between Egypt and D.C.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting and shocking comparison which makes mw sad, and leaves me wondering what is the matter with the human race when we still haven’t developed the compassion to look after our own race. II wish I had enough battery life on my laptop yo respond to that response in the way it deserves.
      I’m going home tomorrow…


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