London Disease

by Richard Vince

So many tiny souls, adrift in
A vast, teeming ocean of life.
To me, it is a disease, but to
So many, it is somehow home.

A few friends I have lost to
Its violently crashing waves:
They were pulled in under
The breakers, immersed totally
In its icy, rushing waters.

Staying safely on the shore, I lost
Sight of them: they’re in there,
Somewhere, among the melee of
Seething, surging humanity,
Doomed never to rest and be still.

Occasionally, I see one, as a speck
Of light on the ever changing surface,
But before I can focus it is gone,
Indistinguishable once more.

Since I kept away, I am
Somehow no longer relevant.
There is no life out here,
You see: no need for the shore
When the sea contains everything.

Where I am is of interest to
No one. Nothing really happens here;
We live mere half lives until
We gain the courage to dive in.


Posted on 10/30/2013
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/01/13 at 03:22 AM

Nicely extended metaphor - and me who gets thoroughly sea sick, I will take the shore with small excursions into the teeming. I got sidetracked by the use of "London", thinking of a city rather than the more encompassing ocean of life. You've developed the "observer's" dilemma well.

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