They fell into a numbing sleep
Perchance to darkly dream.
The kettle for their tea was boiling;
The plants were rich and green.
They stoned themselves on television
And marriage habits bad;
Their sadness at declining Glory
Muffled ‘neath the fads.

Quizzical they were, then, when
Their children turned around
To bite the mouth that spoke of
How ‘lone past was Glory found!
Their children wouldn’t stop
Their God-damned noise about the tea!
And the sound of kettle boiling
Started sounding like a scream.

They cringed, and spat, and plugged their ears;
They chanted, fled, and toked.
“Don’t threaten me!” they barked out
And in their sleep they choked.
For, in their dreams what bubbled wasn’t water for nice tea
But Cyclopean basaltic city geometry.
Rising, rising, rising from the bottom of the sea
And the bubbles coming up for air were ghosts of You… and Me.


P. T. O’Talryn is a Canadian poet and writer who likes to stir the pot.  His interests include economics, politics, philosophy, and religion.  When not studying these he enjoys tabletop roleplaying as a kind of latter-day radio play.  His favourite author remains H.P. Lovecraft


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6 Responses

  1. Joe Spring

    Thanks PT. Interesting poem, about… Weed, I think? I can follow this for the first stanza and a bit, but I might need some SparkNotes please! Some references I don’t get, like the cylopian basaltic city geometry line – sounds compelling but I don’t know…

    • Martin Rizley

      I think that the phrase “cyclopean basaltic city geometry” is deliberately meaningless and intended to convey the nonsensical thoughts that pass through their drug-clouded minds, thoughts assailed by the harsh realities pressing in around them like the screaming tea kettle on the stove, annoying children, their ruined marriage and ruined lives, realities they try to flee through drug-induced “pleasuring dreams.” And as they choke on their own saliva in their sleep, the bubbles in their throat, which rise ghost-like in their dreams, symbolize the ghosts which they themselves have become through being stoned out on drugs.

      • Dave Whippman

        No, I think the “cyclopean geometry” is a clear reference to the work of Lovecraft, who is listed as the poet’s favourite author.

    • P.T.

      Yes, it’s not about drugs per se but about the older generation not giving a damn about the world, and summoning hell through their drugged indifference. Cyclopean city = R’Lyeh where Cthulhu (the ultimate demon of darkness) lies dreaming.

      • Monty

        The “older generation”, because of their very age (hence their experience at having by now seen things for what they really are) have an undeniable right, if they so choose, to “not give a damn about the world”. For some, the ways of the modern world don’t deserve to be “given a damn”.

        And for those who see it as such, they have an equally-undeniable right, if they so choose, to ingest of botanical substances which may ease their passage through the modern world.

        As Lennon said in song: ‘Whatever gets you through the night.. it’s alright, it’s alright’.

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