Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Tale of the Lost Stories

Masks of civility fortify the immune response to aggression
We wear satire as personal protective equipment
Irony as antibodies primed in bloodbaths, these memory cells,
And cultivated in experimental batches for later activation

A coup drill, oft practiced by exiled souls
Dismal legacies discussed amidst internal displacement
Rendered on a gory canvas, functional defenestration
The balm presents itself, choose your desired flavor
This human marketplace serves aloe vera or, my preference, shea butter

Shell games duly fomented by cheerful tricksters
They're desperately counting on atrophied shame cultures
Badged as grifters, unrepentant gremlins and parasites
Caution, take heed of their insatiable appetites

The stage is set, the world enmeshed in mournful contemplation
Affinity for doubt deserves affirmative action
Embrace the skeptic's credo contra these miseries
Global narrative collapse, the tale of the lost stories


The usual currencies were no longer accepted
Neither black gold nor conflict diamonds and pearls
Strategic reserves were tapped to no avail
Sovereign wealth funds rendered worthless

Helicopter money unloaded didn't even move the needle
The oracles were consulted but silence prevailed, a global pause
Explanations were mooted, the chattering classes suddenly idled
Ideologies and articles of faith sidelined. Force majeure clauses.

What profit a man, these paper profits? Perplexion.
Even royalty these days faces the dishwasher situation
For when the maid and cook's boarding houses become viral vectors
For shame, protection must now extend beyond the banking sector


There were a few stragglers who hadn't read the script
These traveling salesmen kept selling their idées fixes
They hadn't signed on to the new warfare
And preferred easy fictions and wishful thinking
Weaponizing mischief as usual, their duty of care

But the evidence made their audience harsh critics
That the whole world was watching prompted an identity crisis
Social interplay became fraught, some brought up matters of justice
Storytellers at the ground level wrote new narratives

For want of a bolt, they were unmanned those peddlers of dreams
The new variants of their certainties were being contested
The message of the urban griots now crystal clear after being neglected
Living in the new epicenter, we reconsidered what really mattered
In this dislocation, social studies provided new avenues of inquiry
A sneak preview of the report of the truth and reconciliation committee:
Everything is written in sand is the new code of the streets

wiz - calabash chorus (1994)

The Tale of the Lost Stories, a Playlist

A soulful soundtrack for this note; I'm especially proud of the way the music flows. The pied piper, Corona, took the stories away, out of Wiase. After this collapse, who is left to write today's script? (spotify version)
What paradise have we lost?

This folktale is part of a series: In a covidious time

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