Road Beasts

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I stand on the corner and watch the

Cars rush by.

 The drivers, in cocoons of metal and glass,

Windows up, the world shut out,

Air conditioning on, radio LOUD,

Listening to the drive-time DJ

Serve his daily dose of stereo bubble-gum.

 Where are they going, these car junkies?

What is so important

They risk their lives to bet there?

 See the drivers:

A man, his face set in anger,

Huddles over his steering-wheel

Like he has to hold it on,

Fumes the traffic is too slow,

Mouths his frustration:

“For God’s sake hurry up!”

To the other drivers, who cannot hear.

 A woman, her back-seat driving child

Swaddled in safety harness, safety seat,

Safety-nappy, dummy,

Thumbs a text message on her phone

As the car inches forward at the lights

Like her child’s life was merely incidental.

 A young man, out to impress,

His penis-exhaust throbbing,

One arm propped out the window,

The other reluctantly, insolently,

Resting lightly on the steering-wheel,

A cigarette set in the corner of his mouth

At just the right angle to make the girls notice.

 Road beasts, the cars, pass by,

Spewing, roaring, rushing, purring like cats,

Chugging, crawling,

Deep-chested booms and stutters,

Carrying cargoes of the helpless.

 What would we do without them?

No way to get from here to our next bit

Of mindless triviality.

 I stand on the corner and watch the cars rush by,

And I wonder to myself

Oh, why? Why? Why?

 

Russell Proctor  http://www.russellproctor.com

 

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Douglas Adams, Where Are You?

Dear Douglas,

On this birthday that you never got to see, your 61st if I am correct, let me please assure you that wherever you might be right now, even if that is absolutely nowhere, that you are sorely missed.

We miss your forthright statements, your clever wit, your irreverent humour, your insight, your candour, and your unfinished quest to bring enlightenment to our lives.

A religious person would believe you are in heaven or some equivalent nebulous zone, but since you were an atheist we know you wouldn’t want to be there.

As a writer, I have laughed out loud over your wonderful summaries of the human condition. I only wish I could be as good as you were, and change so many lives and opinions.

Thank you Douglas. For everything.

Russell Proctor

Plato’s Cave and Days of Iron

Shameless self-promotion. It works for me.

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This is just a post to let everyone know that my second science-fiction novel, Plato’s Cave, is now out in paperback and is available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Platos-Cave-Russell-Proctor/dp/147930879X/ .

It’s actually sort of a blend of science-fiction and philosophy, with a bit of good-natured humour thrown in. The story was inspired by the cave of the same name detailed in Book 7 of Plato’s Republic, about our inability to understand the real world. Set in modern day Brisbane, Plato’s Cave details the adventures of Emily Charlotte Anne Branwell (yes, the Brontës), who wakes up with a shocking hangover one morning and finds that her horoscope is astoundingly accurate and she can walk through walls. On top of that, the contents of her house mysteriously vanish into some other dimension, leaving just one rather peculiar – and ultimately significant – houseplant.

But it’s when the otherwise blue November sky splits down the middle and reveals nothing but blackness beyond that Emily thinks she (and the Universe) might have a problem. Perhaps her search for meaning is going in totally in the wrong direction.

My other science-fiction novel, Days of Iron, is, of course, also still available at http://www.amazon.com/Days-Iron-Russell-Proctor/dp/1460934636/

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That one is about terrorism in the future. There are three species of human beings – two have been genetically engineered – who have spread out into the galaxy. One race, the Helots, have been bred as slaves. They begin a war of terror against Homo sapiens (the Sapes). The novel examines why people become terrorists, and whether it remains an option in the fight against oppression.

I am being interviewed this afternoon by Kevin Dawson on Global Talk Radio http://www.globaltalkradio.com/  about Plato’s Cave and a few other topics of interest.

You can also check out my books and other writings (or order copies) from my website at http://www.russellproctor.com/   

That is all.