The Tour

And we sign up for the tour of the museum
of horrors. Expertly curated, the brochure
invites — the special exhibits are ravaged
war zones, starving children, the burning
taiga, the occupied territories, the eroded
beaches, the nameless prisons, the extinct
species, the endless lines of humans fleeing
one hell for another. We grab our audio
guides and wait to be told what we should
see. How we should see what we think we
see. Leave your belongings at the gate, a
disinterested voice directs, as we stuff the last
of our humanity in a locker and enter, cokes
and burgers clutched to our chests, the water
rising above our ankles, the plastic key card
choking the universe through our lined pockets.

For the midweek prompt at Poets United: ‘Museum’


Water to Water – on Amazon


38 thoughts on “The Tour

  1. I have heard some people express concerns recently about museum displays as well, stating that too often the biases of the curators heavily shape the presentation and therefore the narrative of the event on display. Displays could become apologists of sorts for outdated colonialist ideas for instance.


    1. That could be a problem… the way the world works between biases and fake news, maybe it is up to us to stay as informed as possible- but sometimes the fog can get really thick!


  2. Wow! What a brilliant poem! The tone is so on point with the disinterested general public’s response to the mayhem and disaster which surrounds us.. all spectators of the fall.


  3. Shudder: “Leave your belongings at the gate, a
    disinterested voice directs, as we stuff the last
    of our humanity in a locker and enter . . . ”
    If only there was an exit! An earthly exit. Museums now will more and more show what we have lost so that we’ll be going to museums like going to a funeral. Your Horror Museum has shaken my core. Wow! An amazing poem.


  4. Really, i am a sadness avoider, so i wouldn’t want to visit. But i do remember the horrors of The Towers all that gilloutine and such stuff when i visited on vacation in London.

    Happy Wednesday Rajani



  5. this is so sad, yet true. Disasters pass through as some of us look on, contribute to the suffering by our passivity. The world as museum. You’ve written something powerful here.


  6. A very thought-provoking poem. I watch people walk past most exhibits, hardly reading or absorbing anything… I’m not sure which is worse. sigh


  7. Something about museums that’s about history congealed and fixed; a statement; to live and be witness to the moment of that fixing is to be a spectator to castastrophe, which we helplessly are. Yet still we poets bear witness, schooled so to pay attention. Dreams are such museums, refracting the day: nightmares are deeper in, doors locked, reverberate with all the undersounds of terror. That nightmare museum here. Wow.


    1. Thanks Brendan… as mute witnesses, this is our cross to bear. How do we recover from this low point is perhaps the last test of our humanity… one can only hope we can overcome.


      1. We’re loud witnesses in a deaf world, I’m afraid. And if humanity is doomed to fail in this — wired inextricably to our divine contraptions — then we sing for the world among the other ignored voices.


        1. Poets speaking is one thing… poetry making an impact is another… but yes, let’s keep singing even to a deaf world… because not doing that would be even worse. Agree with you and thank you for your climate crisis poems!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The great thing about far-flung forums like Poets United and Real Toads is that we hear from voices around the world, the sort of networking required for a global choir. The Titanic sank anyway, but the eight musicians on board kept playing till the end to keep the spirits up of passengers and crew.


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