What really matters most? A poem by Louis Quinlan

The Doom Barometer is measured in handwashing and social distance,
Temperature checks and face masks silence the twitter feed,
Staying indoors in small spaces staying away from summer places,
The worried well gather behind curtains of bewilderment seek purpose and meaning,
What really matters most?

Queued at the supermarket today or was it yesterday I cant say,
Sounded like Nick Cave from faraway it was Dylan so thats ok,
Mysterious Customers mysterious clusters, a girl in a facemask pulls on a cigarette,
I pause for a minute take in her air lingering longer than a moment,
The serendipity of meeting strangers in strange places on streets evaporate,
We listen dont hear truth, hard to swallow, hard to take its an honest mistake,
What really matters most?

Science and technology gift us loot boxes and random virtual rewards in cryptocurrencies,
13 days on the moon, missions to Mars, driverless cars dancing with the stars,
Whats the story behind the headline? the Doom Barometer swings above our heads,
like the sickle on the end end of a pendulum, Gin house of Soho, Queens, and the liberties are on the rocks,
What really matters most?

Empty buses embark on their odyssey to ghost estates and forgotten places,
A flock of seagulls perch on now forgotten wheelie bins,
A rich soundtrack ebbs and flows as natures carnival unfolds,
A Spring of colour its lush orchestral splendour, ride the drifting tides,
What really Matters most?

Salome called for the head of John the Baptist, Herod washed his hands,
Like Pontius Pilate before them Trump and Borris washed their hands,
They listen dont hear the truth hard to swallow hard to take this was no mistake,
Populism coming up short on the frontline,
Flood waters recede climate change goes on the back burner,
what really matters most?

World Leaders swap tweets with war metaphors, evoking long-forgotten battle cries,
Beware of men of action on missions of mercy, raw bravery, rare beauty,
Tinder carries anew risk where a grim catalogue of male brutality used to be,
Till we meet again, what really matters most?


Louis is a member of the Modwords and the Tra Tales collectives, he has done spoken word in many venues and in many places around the southeast. He has opened for John Cooper Clarke, Linton Kwesi Johnston at Waterford imagine festival and has also performed at the word tent at electric picnic.

1 Comment

  1. Excellently written but I’ve always loved this mans words

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