Stillstand (Standstill)

Please scroll down for an English translation.

Ich weiß nicht, warum ich aufstehe
und gehe, wohin ich gehe.
Ich folge keinem Regenbogen
und finde keinen Topf voll Gold.

Ich setze einen Fuß vor den andern,
ohne einen Schritt voranzukommen,
denn letztlich treibe ich ja doch nur
von stiller Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit zu dir.

I don’t know why I get up
and go where I go.
I’m not following a rainbow
and won’t find a pot of gold.

I place one one foot in front of the other
without taking a step forward,
for in the end I only drift
from silent eternity to eternity to you.]


Just a quick write-up. It is rather lyrics than a poem, so I shall most probably make it into a song.

I redid my calculations,
And the conclusion I’ve won
Is that if I were still here,
I had better be gone.

For the light grows dim,
And wherever you’ve been,
I’ve been waiting for you,
But you never came.

I’ve inspected the hole in my existence,
And it’s all been hindered by my persistence,
I’ve been everything and anything wrong,
It all could be mended – if I were gone.

The cure for this whole situation
Doesn’t take a silver tongue, easy persuasion.
It’s been written all along on the wall:
For the one to thrive, the other takes a fall.

From the Lost Notes of the Deep Dweller’s Shipyard [New Fragment #4/Human Society]

The societies that humans have built and kept reproducing indefinitely so far all share one basic principle: inegality. The reasons for both the status quo and its continuation have always been provided ex postfacto and ad hoc; why the privileged deserve better than the underprivileged has always been argued for with sophisticated but untrue mental constructions bending reality to a predetermined scheme departing from which has been associated with chaos and the downfall of humankind. Explanations have been lazy and lame, unconvincing at best and ridiculous and insulting at worst. But then again, why would someone born into a privileged position care? Humans take that which they have for granted and will react to its loss as though a limb had been torn from their torso. The truth is that we own nothing: we come to this world naked and with nothing in our possession, and we leave it without anything. If we are buried with a ceremony, taking place for the sake of the living, of course, the body may have some clothes attached to it; yet come to think of it, it is just that, a body, not a person, that is buried. And thus we leave as we came, after all.
But rather than rendering the status quo irrelevant, it makes it all the more important. Conservatism appears to be a default position in many small communities, especially in tribal societies and even modern villages. There is this proverb appearing convincing, or at least having a point to it, that what isn’t broken doesn’t need fixing. What if, however, it is broken without your noticing? Also, that something is not broken does not mean that it is good the way it is. You may have a house consisting of wooden walls and no roof. It is not broken, but a house made of stone and with a roof would arguably protect you better nonetheless.
Change is the engine of improvement, and while things may change for the worse, this is by no means a logical necessity. Instead, history has proven time and again that change will occur at some point or other; if it is brought about controlled by science combined with reason and compassion, for the better; if it is repressed and met with all kinds of artificial obstacles, for the worse, for the result will be chaos and misery – that is to say, exactly that which conservatism seeks to avoid by preventing it from happening.
Conservatism is not only a concrete political conviction, it is an intrinsic part of everything humans do and think, if ever so slightly. Even those among us who consider themselves to be liberal and open-minded will, if entirely honest to themselves, at times catch themselves in the act of telling someone they cannot do something because it does not fit the bill or agenda they have in mind. Whereas we take our own freedom for granted and consider our own desires logical consequences of that which we deem best for everyone, we are way to eager to restrict everyone else’s freedom and dismiss their protest as ignorant, nonsensical, or ridiculous.
And thus it is that people who stand up for other people’s freedom, who come up with new and refreshing ideas the implementation of which would actually improve things for most people are shouted down and met with the most passionate resistance, insults, and ridicule, while dangerous demagogues like Donald Trump, to name just a recent case in point, who barely have any idea of that which they are talking about and wish to do get huge support.
The political and in general social elite, the wealthy and rich, keep playing the same old game to remain where they are: ‘Divide et impera’, this well-known imperative from antiquity and probably before there was any method of pinning the words down, applies today as much as it ever has. For if the majority of people keep arguing and fighting among themselves (dividere), they cannot stand united against the privileged to undo their rule (imperare).
Unfortunately, this is not where the story ends, as history has equally proven. Those overthrowing one rulership always appear eager to establish another not differing much from the one they undo. Is this simply a consequence of human nature, or is it rather the case that each time so far the wrong people have come to power?
Things are seldom as simple as we should like to think or portray them. We all know in principle that monocausal explanations are worthless, yet for the sake of simplicity and laziness and argument and excuse, we pretend them to actually serve a good purpose. They never do, and we never learn, it would seem.


The atmosphere
Is a breathless ocean
I do not need its oxygen
I do not need its oxygen to breathe

The hemisphere
Is a nightless wasteland
I do not need its dunes
I do not need its dunes to rise

The biosphere
Is a lifeless cycle
I do not need its cells
I do not need its cells to die

The ozonosphere
Is a breathless movement
I do not need its oxygen
I just need you to breathe

I like the ambiguity of using metaphors and the clarity of mind ensuing. (An ironic statement in itself, I know.)


It was a sun-lit morning in early spring,
When the stars and the moon aligned well.
The birds had foreseen your arrival,
My darling, my beloved, the only one I would ever have.

But the winds turned against me,
And their lovely tune turned into a howling.
I now wear the shadows of night in my eyes,
For the cold of winter ate my soul.

Now I long for the ferry
to carry me over to the land of the dead.
I realize that my wish has been granted,
For I have been its helmsman for a very long time.

Clearly inspired by ‘Bríd Óg Ní Mháille’, I intended to write this in Gaeilge. Since I only have a very rudimentary understanding of that language’s structure right now, however, I decided to put it on hold for the time being and instead just publish an English version. My best efforts of writing this piece in Gaeilge included the use of several online dictionaries, Wikipedia, Google Translate, and other semi-reliable sources. Besides, I do not wish any native speaker to come across this only to get the impression I were disrespecting the language or culture.

From the Lost Notes of the Deep Dweller’s Shipyard [Fragment #14]

The words on this note have severely fainted; they appear to have been scribbled in a hurry.

Perhaps I should have simply walked away. It would have been a viable option in the beginning, and on the eve of the fall. I wonder whether it would still be a viable option now, either despite or even because of that which has come to pass. Whenever I think of you, and I do so quite often, I feel this warm glow around my heart, and if I did not know better, I should believe my heart to eradiate enough light to illuminate an entire room – if it were not for the dark surrounding us now, of course. And it is precisley this which renders me vulnerable, fragile even, so that I am rather in an alerted than a happy state – and yet I linger. Perhaps I should simply walk away.

From the Lost Notes of the Deep Dweller’s Shipyard [Fragment #10]

I did not see it coming when it happened. There was nothing I could do about it, there was no button to press, no plug to pull, no emergency plan to be executed. I had not planned for it to happen, either; I did not intend to let it happen, let alone make it happen. It just did. I got drunk on you – and it will be my undoing, this I know. I just hope I will not see it coming.