Merton Lee

Freshman - 956 Points (1969 / Singapore)

On Reading Wordsworth's Daffodils (New Version 2014) - Poem by Merton Lee

'Why are you not joining the Money-Glazed World?
Are these penniless winds eating you alive?
Why are you wasting time reading Wordsworth?
We don't need outdated things like poetry!
We only need business knowledge and science.'

A stout, six-feet-tall man, in mid-twenties,
in refined tie and coat, carrying a suitcase and a laptop,
suddenly shouted at me, as he sat down beside me that morning.
He glared at me with red-streaked, insomniac eyes,
like two burning hazel nuts that sank inside pale sockets.
His broad forehead gleamed with beads of sweat.
His eye-brows aggressively thick were frowning,
like two well-practiced, inward-slanting, artistic dashes
of dark ink in a classical Chinese portrait.
They sat on a squarish, muscles-taut face,
with biscuit-thin ears and spiky, crow-black hair,
a stiff nose and pale-pink, flat lips.
They undulated like a mini earthquake when he shouted,
like he had been holding back a wall of emotions a long time.

He continued to bellow:
'Why do you appear contented?
It's sinful to be contented.
You must be driven by desires.
Don't waste your time reading Wordsworth.
Learn how to become indispensable.
Commodify your thinking.
Become a highly marketable product.
Become a highly value-add asset
that keeps adding profit.
No, that won't be enough.
You must keep sharpening your knives.
Character-assassinate your rivals.
Win the favor of your bosses.
If not, we don't need you.
We don't need an escapist reader of poems.
Now get out of my sight! '

Slowly I replied, 'Please bear with me
if my presence irritated you.
I am too common, too small, too human.
Hope to discover the Timeless in Wordsworth's lines.
I only live one day at a time in the strength of God.
Please bear with me.'
I walked away slowly. I could empathize.
I encountered a fair share of difficult bosses when young.
Perhaps I become an old-fashioned vessel,
lessening his anger and passing moods.
A whisper came, 'Today you have passed.'

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 24, 2014

Poem Edited: Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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