Fresh Poetry ~ “The Neighbour’s Devil”

The Neighbour's Devil - Cecil Beaton

Who we are in public, in that light
of day; the veiled brides who make ice cream
in honey traps;
the hopeful who vow promises
to excellence; who never permit grey sin,
either holy or for penetrating evil—the side
you never see.


There is palpable tension
in the house. Concealed in darkness
a fear of Bogeymen,
region by region they roam, state by state
nations are unified in fresh courage
to face present & future
Nothing is common outwardly—know their cool
by the fires they control.
Connect a few facts, stretch those into
some blanket theory—a lovely way to break
the ice at a party
Olympian Gods & Goddesses
argue anything condensed enough to be stuck
on the fridge.

Where else to put the fears
of a society?

Does it stimulate like a cup
of steaming coffee
soothe like the static
of a late night television screen?
An unscheduled home is more important than
the rigours of the marketplace;
family wins over commerce—love bombing they call it
but we still search because we do
not find
what we need in the civilisation
of form & matter,
enslaved with blind faith to bottomless delight,
of artful distraction &
careful cultivation—the Grail.

Are you a parroting conformist,
sworn-off the debate?
Put a steak on your eye; a casserole in
the oven, then pray for
everything—the supercharged & their
this filthy rinsing by
a culture of winks,
subjects aggressively non-verbal,
side by side there on the sofas watching tragedies
people into television.
Proud of the guarantees,
the creatures who give you everything you could
possibly want; the world assumed
through advertising—a chump’s paradise,
requiring active participation
analogous to the activities which
call to chaos the modern
gloss on special
of the pure & righteous,
of those murky honey pots,
of the unmistakable crunch of fresh
ting-a-ling—the death of the sight gag
making it harder & harder to define anything
in a foreign, intoxicating

What channel is that on?

{Photograph by Cecil Beaton}