Satan on his way to bring about the downfall o...
Satan on his way to bring about the downfall of Adam. Gustave Doré’s illustration for Paradise Lost by John Milton. Paradise Lost Book III, lines 739-742 via Wikipedia

This poem was written somewhere between 1997 and 1999. I was living on the top floor of a dilapidated old building that used to be the Ottawa train station master’s home.

Over the years I seem to have developed the uncanny ability to make oblique references to tragedies and disasters before they happen.

A similar thing happened with this poem.

The poem was written mostly stream of consciousness. While typing on my antiquated laptop, I remember thinking just how foreboding the lines were getting (rotting sky…all are doomed to die) and not really knowing why.

Following my instinct, I didn’t delete the darker verses, but I did consider it.

After September 11, 2001, it seemed the ominous parts could be taken as a premonition for 9/11.

As the new millennium drew near, it seemed some artists and sensitives were picking up something truly rotten on their radar.

At least, that is one way of looking at it. At the time I was reading John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno. So one could argue I wasn’t intuiting anything at all. Instead, one could say I was just aping the greats. Mimicking their classic style.

Who knows.

It might be both.

I had just completed my Ph.D. on synchronicity at the University of Ottawa, Canada when this poem was written.

The Disease

I’ve watched it grow
I’ve seen it sow
true minds into despair

souls of sorrow
ladened deep
burning horrid stares

I’ve seen it work
at lightning speed
to destroy mankind’s seed

through the air
it does its deed
this is its only care

sans partiality
sans decency
Yes, this is “the disease”

You over there!
you believe you’re clear
of this melancholy breeze?

Well let me tell you
if you please
it’s a fatal,
dreadful siege

For once contracted
once enacted
you’ll go on normally
“it’s okay”
“I’m just fine”
“yes, I think I am still free”

But then, alas!
the grippe is tightened
beyond all points of ease
and shipwrecked sailors on the sea of life
all drown

Yes I’ve seen this blight
‘cross this land
and winds are blowing high
no apple pie nor starlit nights
will save this rotting sky
all is darkened
all are dead
all are doomed to die

Lance it fast while time remains
avoid a fearsome plight
destroy this curse
and rest assured
your mark is
for the

Cast it out and let us pray
“Lord give us back our sight”
Cast it out to guarantee,
Truth shall conquer might

The Disease © Michael Clark 1997 to present. All Rights Reserved.