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3 comments:

Michael Guy Thompson said...


Tom Greening 3:10pm Feb 21
For Ronnie Laing

Who's mad and who's sane,
and who decides?
If you have to ask,
don't ask out loud,
or you could end up
on the wrong side of the keys,
knife, chemicals, or electricity.
What was a nice Scottish doctor
doing in a world like this?
Rattling paradigms, that's what,
and drinking more than he should.
His time is up,
and the psychiatric pub
is quieter now.
Once he asked,
"Where in the world
are lunatics allowed to bathe
naked in the moonlight?"
At last he has found the place,
but he's probably splashing
more than God allows.

Tom Greening

Michael Guy Thompson said...

Thanks Tom for such a brilliant poem for Laing - he would have loved it!

Neil Hardiman said...

‘Let me speak plainly. After my long experience, after my patience and forbearance, I have surely the right to protest against the untruth (would that I could apply to it any other word!) that evangelical religion, or any religion in a violent form, is a wholesome or valuable or desirable adjunct to human life. It divides heart from heart. It sets up a vain, chimerical ideal, in the barren pursuit of which all the tender, indulgent affections, all the genial play of life, all the exquisite pleasures and soft resignations of the body, all that enlarges and calms the soul are exchanged for what is harsh and void and negative. It encourages a stern and ignorant spirit of condemnation; it throws altogether out of gear the healthy movement of the conscience; it invents virtues which are sterile and cruel; it invents sins which are no sins at all, but which darken the heaven of innocent joy with futile clouds of remorse. There is something horrible, if we will bring ourselves to face it, in the fanaticism that can do nothing with this pathetic and fugitive existence of ours but treat it as if it were the uncomfortable ante-chamber to a palace which no one has explored and of the plan of which we know absolutely nothing. My Father, it is true, believed that he was intimately acquainted with the form and furniture of this habitation, and he wished me to think of nothing else but of the advantages of an eternal residence in it.’

Father and Son, Edmund Gosse, 1907

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