There are two things that concern all men: tomorrow’s bread
And a star to shine in that darkness we call our bed.

An egg-headed State can never supply these two things;
It bumps along Progress Road in a bus with no springs.

Its sore buttocks it takes to be pains from heart’s love-burning
In its goals-glimpsings it thinks soul’s track it’s discerning.

Eggheads, being eggheads, have very tiny heart-spaces,
And even they are corseted from bulging in places.

Alas! they lead the poets (at arm’s length) by their noses,
Promising pay-dirt from planets where rocket bulldozes.

To the mugs (you and me, mate) they promise a paradise
Of girls in bottles to be poured out whenever we please.

Half the world still asks from where to get tomorrow’s bread;
And all the world still seeks a star in a dark wide bed.


Written in a brusque no-nonsense style.

To be human is to have real needs as well as illusory wants. We get led down the garden path of so-called progress by the rationalist planners. The simple souls like us, the mugs, are bewitched by feats of space conquest and promises of easy escapes – women and grog. This technological mind clinch blinds us to the true light which dwells in darkness (the darkness of our hidden consciousness).

What a memorable phrase “seeks a star in a dark wide bed’. It suggests a child’s need for light in the vastness of a dark bed, and our own aloneness and need for guidance. An ending full of heart to a robust poem. 

» ghazal #103 »