Poison Thoughts Seed Poison Stalks

Poison thoughts seed poison stalks
that fork and double their toxic talk
breed bushes glistening with baubles red
and deadly, the kind of fruit
children reach out for first
to test on unknowing’s litmus strip
and crush for fairy puddings on rocks
while the juice sinks into fingers,
stains best frocks.
Thus superiority claims early addicts,
taught by poison words laid down like crumbs
thought to lead out of dark woods.
Those adult charms are so ripe, so
appealing in the velvet green of their
intelligence, but even one drop
of that sap will turn a person sour
will turn their heads to power
give them electric turns of phrase
make them quick to humiliate
to make it seem their state
is ever-calm, sedate, more rational
than all these blurting twerps
whose hearts are always turning
different shades
who cannot help but shake during a
simple conversation on
that morning’s train strikes
when the thought of eternal cessation
strikes them dumb. The pretty jewels
fed to them while young
clot their bellies with glinting cold
broken down now to subatomic
size and crossed the semipermeable
membranes round their hearts, which is why
they make small smiles
and cry “Why, that appears to be our train!
On time!” and stride away to more
civilised climes
where people do not turn pale
tremble their berryless leaves
when the canopy is parted by rays of
an overpowering light
at awkward times.
No: standards must be maintained.
So long as the clever quotes, quick wits
and anecdotes remain acceptable
the results determinable
the course unswervable
the mind unperturbable
it will seem to the lovers of this fruit
that nothing can prove them wrong
that they are at the pinnacle of rightness
and everyone else must therefore be
nuts.

But those berries are not food:
they are baubles made of glass
that will cut your tongue
if you try to make them feed you.

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