‘Smokes and Mirrors.’


This is the face of Death!

A chronic symptom of abasement.

Young faces look old

and older faces look worn.

The pallor is yellow, the jaundice of disease.

Time waits dragged along by shortened breath,

feet do not spring forth,

fingers are gilded in nicotine brown.


The air is polluted by the very presence

of a walking advertisement for insanity.

Youth have been frivolous,

addicted to wasted hours,

unfilled moments held nursing cigarettes.

Clouds of smoke are weak pillars;

they drift as do the minds of their hosts.


Clothes are tarnished, impregnated,

so are walls, windows and doors.

Natural fragrances are unsmelt.

‘A rose by any other name would not be so sweet.’

Blossoms lack the lustre of their concept.

Sour grapes are not so sour.

Apples do not convey the subtlety of their bite.

How pitiful that they should lose so much!


There are few who will savour true life!

Those who recognise their potential

at an early time have a chance.

Iodine and Formalin are the substances

to blanket the ravages of abuse.

Maybe the cigarette moronic magnates

will provide free oxygen for the iron lungs

that will soon restrict movement?


Perfumeries do a dying trade;

their custom is the bouquet,

best to disguise and cover those smells

offensive to the tender nose

of both male and female.

Baby powder and scented soaps are replaced

by that which covers human vanity

and for some an equivalent profanity.


Outlaws have usually been punished:

their crimes varied in nature and scope.

Robbery and theft carry penalties,

beyond these the greater crime of murder.

For some the loss of goods has priority,

these are the foundation of many dreams.

Life lost is often less valued

and often uncompensated.


“Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.”

Yet the law has often been vengeful

in the application by the appointed judiciary.

Insurance and insurers are the answer to terminal loss

more often than solutions.

The weak are weakened by punishment

that offers no alternative to ignorance.

There will be no evolution without change!


Who will you hold responsible for mindless waste?

Is it the farmers who grow tobacco?

How many fathers, mothers, wives,

sons and daughters have they lost?

Do they care?

Has profit removed that from them?

Shall it be the manufacturers only

who will blame Raleigh?


They are not directly responsible

for the decisions of others.

They will not lose sleep, not tonight anyway!

Think of the many employees,

and the contribution to the economy;

it appears magnificent.

All of those taxes that could be raised elsewhere

and spent on other than band-aid solutions

for the millions incapacitated.


Do not forget the advertizing agencies

and those who profit directly

by their participation in the masquerade.

There are many who profit!

There are many who suffer!

The youth of today should be smarter!

Their call should be to reform

and save a physical reflection of sanity.


Will George © 1997


Will George Poet