March of Progress
I’ll have to take your word for it that we are evolving,
unfurling and redefining to stand astride millennia
as superbeings moulded around plastic and circuitry.
I know that we lived in caves and had brows
which furrowed in wonderment at sparks and dead flesh;
that some of us daubed our shopping lists on the walls.
But are we still reaching out our hands, straightening,
feeling calves sting and stretch, backs arching to
become something else, another skull in a row?
(written in response to the misguided theory that we are evolving towards
some kind of superhuman, beyond our current form - I don't buy it!)
A Living Will
If one day I look up and ask your name,
or speak of dead relations in the present tense,
then you know what I want you to do.
If I go out on my own and forget where I live,
or I can’t add up the change in my pocket,
then you know what it’s time to do.
If I can’t get dressed in the morning,
feed or keep myself clean,
then you know what you have to do.
If the light’s gone from my eyes,
and all you see is a stranger with my face
then please, please, please just do it.
(a comment on both the ethical question of euthanasia and the fear that we may one day lose ourselves behind the fog of dementia, condemning our loved ones to care for a shadow of our former selves)
If you enjoyed Ben's work, please feel free to check out his blog here or Clear Poetry here.