A hospital patient dies from an injection of the wrong drug.
We will learn from this tragic mistake, say officials who pledge that
This will never happen again, until it happens again and again.
A bomb devastates a market killing hundreds and a man with a machete
Runs amok because something in the sky told him it was okay to kill.
Police hunt paint-spraying artists for crimes against bricks
And councillors debate savage spending cuts inside fine buildings.
Below par schools crawl along, dragging more new rules in a wheelbarrow.
League tables boost morale and demoralise and a league table of the best
And worst league tables becomes the focus for 24-hour news for 24 hours.
New jobs are announced here, with redundancies there, to maintain balance.
A teenager is jailed for stealing birthday presents from his sister
And a hate preacher is out on bail, back to the streets to preach hate.
Ramblers head off for a ten-mile hike in sensible boots and socks
Discussing the pros and cons of cons and pros in the fresh air.
People die and if they are on “our side” they are immediate heroes,
But if they are “against us” we cheer good riddance and hope they rot in hell.
We see real people in silhouette, voiced by actors, talking about tragic lives
And posing, boo-hoo celebrities inventing bad childhoods to sell books.
We watch judging panel shows on TV and learn how to sneer and be catty.
We assume we are judge, jury, executioner, comedian and guru on Twitter,
Thinking we can speak freely and honestly because “it’s only a bit of fun”.
We know about the prying eyes and recording ears, the “Snooper’s Charter”,
And we laugh it off! LOL. FFS.
Out beyond us all, a comet as big as London can be seen with its golden light and blue tail for us to worship, a marvel to provoke context, to promote universal awe,
A lump of iced matter to knock the edges of our arrogance.
But, moments of miracle and marvel are short-lived, stopped in their tracks
By another bomb, another murder spree, another beheading ... Out there
We may find answers but we are not out there. We are here and this is this.
Joe Cushnan has written for Ireland's Big Issue, The Guardian, and the BBC, amongst many others. You can find out more about him on his blog.