The Great Game of Life

Great Game

Part 1

This world is yours; this world is mine:
The oil in Arabia is yours, the soil of America is mine,
The walls of China is yours, the sacred cow of India is mine…
The list could go on, but
What is mine is yours;
What is yours is mine.
That is the truth of brotherhood.
And truth is always good.
Please don’t claim the world as your own
And nor will I, my friend.
Actually it is ours, isn’t it?
Yes, there are boundaries set
By Kings and politicians in days of yore,
But that is politics, as you know.
Don’t tell me you thought politics was what is actual.
Actualities is a different thing entirely.
I have wondered whether we could transcend the old politics.
Burn the passport!
We have newer, firmer, fairer identities.
You gasp?



(Oh no, you wake the idealist’s head again.
Oh how I wished he were gone.
Stop or you’ll start another foolish war -)
He says, as countless invisible wars rage all around,
Making ghosts of complaint,
Unheard on media’s mainstream psycho-bubble.
(-We haven’t inclinations to burst trouble
In these desperately controlled times,
All,  necessary in case I violate my own freedom
By switching off programmes of triviality.
I need to possess my X Factor, Strictly
My 2.5 kids, sports car, house on the hill,
My ‘Diamonds are Forever’ comfort-zone life-style.
I can’t question why, but can ‘cleverly’ answer why not.
I learnt that at school, or from a friend on Facebook, or –
Why can’t we just sit and watch TV?
I’ve a packet of biscuits made in a post-colonial, Neo-Con, neo-colonised,
Independently trade-free-for-us country
With a democracy we’ve authoritatively implemented
By grass-rooting it out, by proxy; and
Globally supporting neighbouring state-terror
To counter terrorism, internationally.
Would you like a cup of tea?)
I wonder whether those we bomb could watch TV
And discuss eating biscuits and sipping tea,
So calmly careless, so damn care-free!
I didn’t realise, I ponder, that we –
After Imperialism at Pearl Harbour –
Could manually auto-pilot strategically
To atomise our own brains to smitherines.
(Oh, of course these others could have the life we lead,)
He says, (if they just stop their squabbles
We partitionally started, and maintain themselves to our advantage…
And if they also just as simply did just as we say.)
Just, hmmpf
I sigh.
I was simply suggesting that there comes a moment
When the politics of the world grows tired, tried and dying,
Stretched and ill-at-ease from all that time-waste, lying,
Sofa-sitting against the possibilities ‘out there’.
And then you need the visionaries to re-appear,
To shake us about to wake,
who can call us to a better place, realisable, wholsome, and be real.
(My friend, this is all there is.
The ancient idealists are gone:
The prophets of old, the enlightened ones,
The philosophers, their ideas have left us
When one, Nietzsche, uttered
That, “God is dead”.
Since then, we have play and play on words,
And every game has rules, scores, winners and losers.
That is entertainment; that is real-politik.)
But though we can agree that this is all we have –
This pragmatic affirmation to live
In a world such as it is,
Within the rules of a human game set by those that preceded us,
For us to refine, spin and ‘heart-and-mind’ entwine
To use our will-to-power on Monopoly boards, our Call of Duty,
   our Modern Warfare too,
Against the powerless, yes – but in a ‘nice way’, yet you
Have acknowledged that we are able to change the rules of the game.
(Of course. That is part of the game,) you say.
And we can change the want to play it for a game?
(What?…) He says.
(Go on…) He stutters…
Are you willing to listen, at least?
(Perhaps, he mutters, what have you to say?)
Hear me out, at least. I have a thought or two.
(…In that case…
I may…)


(to be continued…)

By Arif uz Zaman

January, 2013

For a poem on seeking a ‘True Civilisation’ click here.



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Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Poetry, Poetry

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