Old ways, new world

For the dverse prompt. I haven’t taken a particular political standpoint, but Utopia isn’t going to drop out of nowhere without some kind of philosophy to guide it.


We can’t say we love those we never have to meet,

and we never have to live with those who are not like us.


(It’s easy to love those who are just like us, who keep their

cars clean like we do, have good dental work and don’t raise hell).


We can’t say we care if we take more than we need, because

the treadmills keep turning to give us what we throw away.


We can’t say we respect life when we sanction poverty

to keep us rich, misery to keep us overfed and sleek.


Learn how to love, care, respect, and do, be, act, give not take,

find joy in sunsets and sunrises and the singing of birds,


turn off the reality show, dig the earth, plant, create, not sit

open-mouthed before the pap that falls in sugary drifts from heaven.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

23 thoughts on “Old ways, new world”

  1. Bang on, Jane. The ticking is so loud I hear it in my sleep. Those wearing blinders and MAGA hats, with bananas in their ears must not prevail.

  2. Your poem reminded me of my childhood, Jane, when we knew everyone in the neighbourhood, and everyone looked out for each other. It would be wonderful if we could get that back again. But most people these days are so self-centred and have little or no consideration or respect for others. I love the (retro)vision in the couplet:
    ‘Learn how to love, care, respect, and do, be, act, give not take,
    find joy in sunsets and sunrises and the singing of birds’.

    1. I don’t have much hope of anything remotely resembling a Utopia ever happening. The world has changed since we were children, less deferential, more gullible, much more conformist. But I agree, along with our savvy we’ve developed a terrible egocentricity where nothing matters but personal gratification. Those who call it ‘fulfillment’ are only selling the same stuff.

  3. I agree that Utopia (as far as a harmonious, equal, kind world) will never exist. On the other hand, I think we have all the capabilities of creating it. We just don’t. We’ve wasted time, money, effort, talent, intelligence, abilities, ambition on other things while the world falls apart.

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