On an ideal planet, it wouldn’t exist
On a sane planet, it would look very different
(For one thing, it wouldn’t e so concerned with spectacle and marketing)
But charity is business, and business and marketing
Need us to think that (with their help) we can win.
A cell multiplication system cannot be argued with
An indifferent, growing, thing in a body
A growth without loves, hates, aspirations or dreams,
Or grief, or laughter, or petty annoyances,
Or any of the other things humans concern themselves with.
There are more than enough to fight and oppose
To challenge, argue with and stand against
Enough that we can affect with our defiance,
Our belligerence, our argument.
Perhaps it is just easier for us to imagine
That the uncontrolled growth of cells in a body
Can be stood up to, like a mere childish bully
It’s easier for our brains to maintain the image
Of a civilisation, much like our own one
That wants to destroy us, one by one.
If we look into the face of a loved person
And barely recognise what they’ve become….
Well, who wouldn’t want someone to blame
For their deterioration?
It’s simpler, of course, less complicated
Than standing up to human-made systems,
Or bullies, or teachers, or parents
Or policem, policewomen, or governments
Who might listen and argue back
Who might be right, thereby
Making us wrong – who might reason,
Who might compromise, causing us to compromise.
We have many enemies, if we choose them as such
We don’t need to anthropomorphise disease,
To give us our opposing armies
They are everywhere we care to look,
Anywhere can – and some places we can’t – see.
We fight ourselves more vehemently
Than any disease or sickness that might attack us.
We’re our own best enemies,
As we would see
If we were not so wrapped up in ourselves,
Swinging fists blindly.
But, ironically, we imagine cancer to be as we are:
obstinate, sometimes ignorant – but not immovable.
And we imagine other people to be like cancer
(unfeeling piles of unreasoning, inscrutable matter)
Because it seems easier
Than trying to understand them.
It’s a sickness that cannot be fund-raised away;
Charity is big business –
(And whose fault is THAT?)
Because, like cancer,
The problem is in us
And no amount of money
Will make any difference.