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  • Writer's pictureMario Mainland

These Days

Updated: May 16, 2022

Come brother and sister

Where-ever you are

The children playing in the street

And the men acting in the corner bar

Gather your friends and take your places

The credits have rolled and the story is far

But it’s not too late to hear

So please lend me an ear

And heed the signs however bizarre

The strangest times are here

Come those who influence

With and without shame

Your twitter shares and insta-likes

It’s a different world and we know the game

But when we peel away the outer skin and bare

Our humanness will burn under the lights of fame

And when its end is near

I say you shouldn’t fear

Underneath the fake adoration we’re all the same

The realest times are here

Come all who prophesize

Atheists and prophets of God

Both tenets beg the question:

Ask scientists not what they know, but what they do not

Probe preachers not on scripture, but the hands behind it

And only then do we seek and separate the root from the rot

And ring out the cheers

And wipe away the tears

We’ll celebrate the oneness of our lot

And shout

The loudest times are here

Come whom-ever brings the news

The Kings and Queens and Jacks

Tell the people if they stand up straight and true

The boardroom table would topple from their backs

Said the jokers speaking honestly instead of jesting about

Don’t laugh and point and show your neighbor all he lacks

Instead share a beer

Sing together my dear

And listen only with half an ear

And put your feet outside the tracks

Because the court still swears

The hardest times are here

Come all of you

Adherents to old school rules

Mothers and fathers stuck in the past

Raise your children to know better than the fools

Who clutch on creed and colour to separate the world

Because their mothers and fathers never gave them the tools

Whether man, woman, or queer

The message is ever clear

Within the rubble you can still find diamonds and jewels

A new beginning is here


The whole poem is about the upside-down nature of the world we're living in.

The first and second stanza is a call to everyone, our peers, to come together to recognize the strangeness of the times. In this context, the children playing in the street refers to our kids being exposed to different kinds of dangers that we had to be aware of when we were young. Wandering in the virtual streets of today is wrought with predators, bullies, potentially lethal internet challenges, and myriad videos of people either being crazy or stupid or both - faking or aggrandizing mental illness for fleeting fame. Back in the day, we were worried about falling out of trees and scraped knees, but now we must be wary of the wealth of information that may set our kids on a trajectory to danger and depression they won't easily recover from. And to the dads, spend more time with your families, we can't pretend what's happening in other countries or households won't affect us. The story is far, but it's not too late.

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