In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

But What is Number One ?


“…And Number One, deep in its steel case
lashing at forests, at continents, at cities,
befouling ocean, air-wave, blood-stream,

raising hordes
of zealots to slaughter their fellows
in the name of a phantasm,

breeding the will to deceive,
tending the urge to piracy and plunder,
nurturing despair, aiding inertia,

working deep in, working slowly
to the very core, paring,
particularising, severing, numbering,

Number One turns from its vast enterprise
hissing in glee
at my distress

and whispers :
“From whence do you consider
stem my victories ?…”

Rogan Wolf, Spring 1994

(The above is an excerpt from a much longer poem written during a sort of Sabbatical I took, having just gone free-lance after years as manager of a mental health community centre. The poem is one of a series about the “Shadow” half of the human self.)