My Invisible Horse and the Speed of Human Deceny

Dan Stephenson on Twitter: "I often use the old saying "Don't put the cart  before the horse" when talking to my students. When you actually look at  it, it is a pretty

People always tell me, “Don’t put the cart
before the horse,” which is curious
because I don’t have a horse.
Is this some new advancement in public shaming—
repeatedly drawing one’s attention
to that which one is currently not, and never
has been, in possession of?

If ever, I happen to obtain a Clydesdale,
then I’ll align, absolutely, it to its proper position
in relation to the cart, but I can’t
do that because all I have is the cart. 
One solitary cart—a little grief wagon that goes
precisely nowhere—along with, apparently, one
invisible horse, which does not pull,
does not haul, does not in any fashion
budge, impel or tow my disaster buggy
up the hill or down the road.

I’m not asking for much.  A more tender world
with less hatred strutting the streets.
Perhaps a downtick in state-sanctioned violence
against civilians.  Wind through the trees.
Water under the bridge. Kindness.
LOL, says the world. These things take time, says
the Office of Disappointment. Change cannot
be rushed, says the roundtable of my smartest friends.

Then, together, they say, The cart!
They say, The horse!
They say, Haven’t we told you already?
So my invisible horse remains
standing where it previously stood:
between hotdog stands and hallelujahs,
between the Nasdaq and the moon’s adumbral visage,
between the status quo and The Great Filter,
and I can see that it’s not his fault—being
invisible and not existing—
how he’s the product of both my imagination
and society’s failure of imagination.

Watch how I press my hand against his translucent flank.
How I hold two sugar cubes to his hypothetical mouth.
How I say I want to believe in him,
speaking softly into his missing ear.

by Matthew Olzmann


I read it three times, first quiet, then loud. What a great piece it is and how I can relate. Less hatred, peace, and a more tender world.

The last four years have been hard on many of us. Not because ‘the other side’ had won, but because of what we have lost with it. My peace within has been under attack. Like many I have kept my little piece of the world intact. Hanging on by a thread, trying to stay calm in an anxious

23 Days to the Election!

2 thoughts on “My Invisible Horse and the Speed of Human Deceny

  1. I don’t read much poetry but I’m so glad I read this! Awesome piece. I sympathise with your situation in the US but I bleed for the mess the UK has wrought. Where will it end? Please… let it end!

    Like

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