Changing the world -starting with ourselves

Paradox of PhD and Poetry

How very odd!  As I turned to re-enter the highly constrained academic container to commence my doctoral journey – amidst other personal and professional challenges – I found myself writing poetry.  I did not decide to. I did not yearn to.  I simply followed juicy little threads of words and found many tumbling forth.  This was the first to arrive sitting in post-graduate room at Hull University Business School:

Particular Abyss

Whether we gaze out through heavens to the stars

or drive our eyes into the Particular

abyss for answers of the universe; do

we not simply perceive what we are apt to

see?  Patterns of imagination?  Defined

manifestations made so by eyes and minds

that cannot not craft worlds of explanation?

Is ‘all in all’ our most profound delusion?


Perhaps, matter and matters of scale are nought

but orderly illusions made real by thought;

by those who meddle in realms beyond their Selves

in search of truth which lies in etheric shelves?

What consummate distraction by magician

minds who avert our gaze by reaching out and

out; and down and down, to what?  For what?  Where is

THE place these searching souls don’t dare to quiz?


As jet black nights fuel our fears, deluded minds

with unrelenting pace, drive us wild with blind

demands to play the tunes; so devilish hands

can pull our puppet strings and command our dance.

Those veiled rampant powers that yank our clanking chains

have us trip and choke and burdened by our shame,

for what we did and did not do.  Shocked. Bemused.

Caught by fear of blame.  Bewildered and confused


that once again – to make the change, we fail.

So on, on and on we chase horizon’s tail –

to catch the holy grail of hidden truths.

And so the mirage beckons; teases sleuths

who’ll be seduced by promises of fame

and grandeur.  Make your name!  Court worldly acclaim!

Or choose the Noble Quest:  Risk ruthless enmity

over fame or vapid anonymity?


© Louie J N Gardiner 15th October 2014