Saturday, 31 October 2015

Cure For Loneliness

This is an old Russian cure
better than a cup of tea,
more reliable than pills,
It was first formulated
by Leo Tolstoy in the
long winter of 1869.
A complex potion,
the recipe runs to 1,144 pages,
too long to put down here,
but you'll find it on the creaking
shelves of any library
under the heading War and Peace.

I suggest you take it
late at night,
beside an open fire,
with a map of old Russia
and a bottle of red wine.
I tried it myself
and it worked fine for me:
all the ghosts in my head
gathered round to hear
the tale of love and loss.

You could also try
some very old remedies
by Homer or Catullus,
or powerful ones
by Dante or Shakespeare
or witches brews
by Sappho or Tsvetayeva,
or complex Irish potions
by Messrs Joyce and Beckett.
Their cures hold a mirror up
to your soul -- they work
incredibly well, though
I have found them addictive,
and Beckett repeats
at odd times of the night.

These days
there is a whole
new range of panaceas:
heal-alls, cure-alls,
some are like fire,
others like ice, but
none have been
tested by time.
I do recommend
for those darkest days
the small healing potions
by Michael Hartnett.

(Tony Curtis)

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