In Enlightenment’s Wake – Poem

A poem written in response to the book Enlightenment’s Wake by philosopher John Gray. I wrote it a few years ago but it seems more relevant now.


In Enlightenment’s Wake
we stand alone,
far from ourselves
and far from home.

Jet black the skies
crimson the seas,
all for the sake,
of eternity.

We ate the earth, shot the moon,
stole all those stars and snuffed the sun,
the unwitting harbingers
of oblivion.

But now the grass is black
and all I can do is hold your hand,
as I blink into the future we never had.

For we gambled with utopia
and bet on dreams of dust,
we gambled with our future
but were dicing in the dark.

We bet with all we had,
be it millions or a pebble,
yet my mother always told me
never throw dice with the devil.

Still we bet short on our future
and oh so long on our sin
but in the end, guess what,
the house will always win.

And it’s often said that the darkness is most black
before the morning sun,
but what if that globe of fire
will never rise again?

And they say that once from rubble poppies grew,
and perhaps in a distant time that once was true,
but now I’m not so sure.


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