Apathy is a Developing Response

Apathy is a developing response.
Ask the young what should be done about some ‘X’
and they will answer with a certainty admired
by falling rocks which don’t so straightly plumb
the depths as do the certainties of youth.

In middle age, amongst their bouts of rage,
the folk, perplexed by living the long riddle
they call their lives, will entertain first doubts
about positions they once firmly held.
And then they’ll hold them tighter, fear letting loose

and a fall into ‘senescence’ — as we call
that acceptance Buddha lauds and Calvin hates,
where the answer to what one’s required to do
engenders daily less hot animo
and more and more a careless ‘I don’t know.’


Is apathy an acceptable response?
It feels better (because feels less) than other options
Which are available to us readers of the news
Where some police shoot children, and where kids
Kill lots of people with their parents’ guns.

It seems, to guns as news, that we adjust,
But more headlines beat on us every day
With floods, hate, lies, and thefts on grandstand scale.
We see wars, and photographs of screaming grief,
And unmitigated everyday small meanness.

Anthropogenic warming. Globe goes Bang!
Put on blinkers. Turn off all reports of spying.
Take pills of higher strength. Ignore the signs
Until it all hurts less, until you’re happy.
A little, sometime. Nearer apathetic.