Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mika Baumeister. Used with full permissions.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Julian Wan. (Used with full permissions.)

Feel the fire’s flame
cutting through our nights,
its burning heat
glowing in our eyes.

Feel the teeth grinding,
lungs heaving,
knuckles cracking,
slides racking…
Fear’s vibrations
colliding — dividing —
and choosing sides.


Turn away,
relax your breath,
and adjust your eyes…

Can’t you see the face
hidden in the shadow
cast by its fired night?
Can’t you see its narrowed
eyes, the tight smile
emanating from a twisted soul;
the mind that’s taken Center
while we burn at its poles;
the eyes that know
our fractured factions
keep us weak, in conflict,
unorganized and opposed?

The identities we’ve been served
keep us forever in chains,
ensuring the blood we spill
is spilt in vain…
that change is only a slogan
an old institution
with a new name. …

The 2020 R.E.M. Song Lyric Rewrite

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Danny Howe on Unsplash.

In a burst of isolation-inspiration, I took the liberty of re-writing the lyrics to R.E.M.’s alt-rock classic, It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) to fit these strange times…

…hope you dig this reworked blast-from-the-past!

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)¹

That’s great, it started in a marketplace
with bats and snakes, then aeroplanes —
Paul Duprex is not afraid.

Climate and its science are warming to the world’s burn,
self-serve your own needs,
write-off all the misdeeds.

Tighten up, stay away, too close, don’t touch
Respiratory clatter with fear of viral splatter,
Set fire to the pyre, smoke rising from the mire
now the doctors aren’t for hire, it’s a combat site. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash.

We are panicked because we’ve divorced
ourselves from Nature. We feel our lives and
time to be of singular significance.

We are panicked because we don’t
accept consequence. Consequence
comes later—we think ourselves exempt.

We have proven ourselves inept
at mitigating our impacts, inept
at living and multiplying sustainably —
inept at respecting Nature,
our Planet, and those we share it with.

Nature is not an enemy—nor is Death.
Disease is a tool they both use,
they know when and how to use it.

Nature’s virus is Her shining testament
to the limitations of the scientific mind. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Thomas Stephan, used with full permissions.

“The ocean was strange and foreign to him…”

Image for post
Image for post

He stared out of the windshield at the oppressive fog with dissatisfaction. The ocean was strange and foreign to him. The day had offered a rare opportunity to see it in person but, as it was, he could barely see the front of his pickup.

Reluctantly, he climbed out of the cab — his beanie covering his ears and his hood pulled over his head — and began walking towards the vague outline of the observation tower: a formidable, timber-framed structure built by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The fog’s dense stillness bent time and suppressed sound. The man stood in uneasy awe listening to the waves break and froth along the far-reaching jetty. He noted, with a degree of satisfaction, that there was a compelling depth and mystery to the experience. He continued listening for a time, but it wasn’t long before his legs and feet complained of their rigid idleness and he began to wish for the warm shelter of the cab. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Dawid Zawiła (Used with full permissions from copyright owner.)


Douglas Balmain

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store