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~~with thanks, once more, to E.A.P.

Once upon a midday sunny, while I pondered life as funny,
all those tiresome Facebook posts, from priceless to not worth a dime,
while I zoned out, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
an insistent, irksome rapping, “Yo, there, sister, don’t waste time!”
“Tis some bother,” I reflected, “yapping at my weary mind—
only this, so never mind.”

How distinctly I recall this, from the dog days of late August
when silhouettes of perspiration everywhere I left behind.
Eagerly I longed for breezes, dreamed in secret of deep freezes;
with each rolling bead of sweat I lost more vim than I could find.
Farewell, o vast intelligence! I miss you, sleek and noble mind.
Where’d you go? Oh, never mind…

Eventually I couldn’t stand it, listening to that rapping bandit
brandishing his random message, stabbing at my current languish.
I scraped my last of inspiration, dying gasps of motivation.
“I don’t know what you are up to, or by knocking hope to find.
Maybe like the rest of us, you seek relief from living blind
and dreading each new ‘never mind’.”

And so across that screen door peering, I imagined something leering,
scrolling through my vital data, calculating all that mattered,
feeding it to some vast modum, deleterious in motive.
All those things Orwell had warned us. One day, we’ll be in a bind,
trusting less, complaining louder, cursing future humankind—
But wait, just listen! Never mind.

Upon my thoughts there came a squawk, a flap of wings, I thought a hawk
had flown into my dark abode, but no, a different thing had taken hold.
It was a seagull white and gleaming, joking like a banshee screaming:
“Ding-dong, Avian calling!” The gull upon my laptop perched. “What a grind,
getting you to getting out of random people’s mixed-up minds.
You can call me Nevermind.”

I tried to shoo him, reason, threaten, offered proof of Armageddon.
Seagulls, though, you can’t offend them; independent, nothing bends them.
The more I tried to log on Facebook, read my texts or scan the news,
the more he shed and shat and screechéd; wingéd, feathered anti-muse.
“Give it up,” he finally said. “I’m here to get your ducks aligned.
It’s what I do. I’m Nevermind.”

Succumbed, I watched instead of media the gull pontificate
on all that’s tragic, gone and past, then, horror-struck, regurgitate.
I saw how quickly my poor head got stuffed with thoughts of ice cold dread,
which set me scrambling like a rat on drugs in a trial, double blind,
electrodes and thin tubes attached to drain me of my sickening whine.
That’s what I grasped from Nevermind.

The evenings, they grow cooler now. Most mornings start out fresh.
The squawks and chirps of friends and strangers I still read, but less
inclined am I to fashion a reply—or worry what they think of me,
since now I know we mostly don’t reach far outside ourselves. Kind
or silent, either one (and sometimes both) are way more fun, I find,
in keeping peace with Nevermind.


© Elaine Stirling, 2016