There was more good news for the Folding Mirror form this week when Every Day Poets announced that a new Marc Latham FM poem, See Below Sea, would be published on May 17th. The site requests first internet rights, so it has not been published here yet, but will be afterwards. Marc Latham has donated the payment back to the site.
Today, Marc Latham has scoured his FM vaults again to bring you another old one. There was no date on it, but the political and banker scandals could have been the inspiration. While society has changed now somewhat, with more cynicism about the people in power, Marc thinks that the balance and credibility between the rich and poor is still too big. This poem is therefore bipolar to make the extremes stand out.
Marc does consider there to be many talented people in the top positions, and that some do their jobs well; but there are also a lot who don’t, and a lot of people in lower paid jobs that do great work without ever receiving the credit and reward they deserve.
Marc also knows that some charity workers at the top are on big money, and some people in financial jobs and the like are not. Many people in business are also doing a lot for charity and becoming ever more environmentally aware, so there’s a much bigger crossover than there was years ago: a banker might recycle glass, only for a rioter to smash it! This isn’t profession specific, just a general thought poem from the middle, and it is therefore admittedly simplistic and flawed.
Marc doesn’t think he’s a brilliant worker either, but would still like to earn more than he does! He also understands that everybody is different, and have different ambitions, and while he wanted to travel the world some people would rather buy a house and live comfortably. Anyway, here’s the poem:
What’s Your Work Worth?
for the poor,
and so much more,
the people give,
around the world,
women and men
for philanthropic extent
time spent, not lent
for good causes
Give and take, society’s make and break
only climb ladder
lent time, not given
for personal gain
men and women,
are like sheep
to the slaughter,
for me nothing more,
money means power,
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem is another jolly affair (joke). It is also quite topical, with work sparse in the UK and many middle-age jobless people said to be finding it hard to find work.
Marc Latham is himself middle-aged and not doing very well financially, so hopefully the poem won’t incur the wrath of his fellow poor middle-aged.
The structure provides something new in that it is to be read from the bottom up, in line with its title and content being about climbing over the hill, with ‘over the hill’ a common phrase to describe people being past it in the UK.
This poem by Marc Latham is quite an old one. Marc held back on it as he thought it might be interpreted incorrectly, with readers thinking it made him sound all high and mighty.
It is in fact about the highs and lows of the bipolarity Marc thinks he’s had for a long time. While the highs, or mania, can make you think you are in touch with special thoughts, the lows can make you think that life is completely futile and not worth bothering with. Understanding what it is helps to weather the time spent on the fringes, and harness the creative thoughts the condition provides.
So while Marc guesses that most normal people, as only a small minority are supposed to be bipolar, have a much more rational or middle thought process, bipolar people spend more time on the edges of thought, where the rational gives way to the creative.
That’s probably why a lot of bipolar people seek release in creativity, while those with normal brain processes are happy in regular jobs.
Marc doesn’t think one is superior over the other, it is just a matter of different brains working differently, which also occurs in animals.
Grammatically, the poem is a little different to previous ones in that it has similar words ending and starting the lines in the two halves.
Anyway, here it is:
Mine Bipolar Mind
high, high, high, look at my
mine mind as it fly
flies soaring at its peak
peaks and glides, you wouldn’t speak
speaks to me, shouts to you
yours wouldn’t reach, my higher view
All is calm on the equator of the mind
You’ve got me, I’m feeling blue
blued by me, felled by you
your nightmare depths, I pass below
beneath normal limits of sorrow
sorrows and woes attacking mood
moody, moody, moody, backwards I stood
I think mental health labelling can probably be useful in some cases, but feel that they are also too common, and can be used against the individual. One of these is ODD: Opposition Defiant Disorder. I have not been diagnosed with it, but certainly relate to it, and can imagine it being a convenient label for those who have tried to psychologically suppress me.
While there are some cases where it probably has relevance, and some times when I might have been guilty of getting my opposition wrong, I can also see it being used to control people who have a just case, such as victims of those who use power sadistically.
For example, the demonstrators in dystopian societies could be said by those with power to be suffering from ODD.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem, and the last of the Control trilogy, defies convention and questions the oddity of ODD. Enjoy the sun, or whatever you feel like doing!
Human and Society Chicken and Egg Dilemma Oddly Solved
do people give reason to hate
to feel it’s deserved and not
an all too common human trait
does ODD have an opposite?
better to feel you’re at fault
than think that humanity is not
usually as perfect as it ought.
That had a tragic ending, but this poem tries to provide a positive one, and reminded the poet of Blondie’s 11.59 when he read it back. The Debbie Harry story provides a positive ending to balance the Ian Curtis one, so enjoy the weekend!
Driving Through the Desert
Think I’m about half way through.
Doing alright but my gasket blew
a while back, and don’t think it’s
working like it did. Map of the world
on my mind, but can’t see beyond
the horizon, and don’t like looking back.
Trying to stay on the road takes attention
that I don’t always have, which can cause
anxiety and apprehension. Think I’ve got
enough gasoline for the
one-way journey through Death Valley
but not beyond return
or anywhere further. Dead end destruction
was your destination, think it always was fated
that you’d drive your way in that direction.
Look ahead, just keep foot down driving
you’re alive for now, and that’s forever.
This moment is you. Your time in life
beyond all else. Drive, drive, you’re alive.
Cruise and speed when you like
there’s only deserted road in sight.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem is about some of the paradoxes that he feels inside him. Sometimes people act differently day-to-day, and change their outlook and views just as often.
This can be interpreted as flexibility or weakness depending on their role in life and what, if anything, results from their views and actions. As well as the personality and attitude of whoever is judging their behaviour.
This poem is set in those days when you have too little to do and too much to think about: when life can seem superfluous to the mind.
But it is a poem of life, and all the little contrasts and contradictions that make it sweet to complete.
The Futility of Life and Death
trying to live in health
but dream time in death
exercising like a jock
with a downer outlook
trying to make a difference
or just being a nuisance
Redux my Paradox in Flux
hobo man of the world
wonders why Britain’s being sold
running miles to nowhere
a natural couch potato
post my views of positive
return to sender in negative