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25 January 2011

Two Worlds (The Ten23 Poem)

Because of codswallop.

Next month, I'm going to attempt homeopathic suicide as part of the Ten23 campaign in Sydney. So just in case it works, I thought I'd leave a few words behind to commemorate the occasion. I'll be quite disappointed if it works, though. I've always wanted to see pigs fly.


Oh, the physical world is a wonderful place,
Which no sensible person ignores,
Where the wonders of nature and humans and space
Are translated through physical laws.

Where, for centuries, people have figured things through,
By applying the methods of science
And when older discoveries make way for new,
We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

We’ve progressed from bloodletting to chloroform masks
To the treatment of multiple cancers,
And through testing and trialling, most questions one asks
About health and disease now have answers.

It’s a world in which water, when put in a beaker
Of other stuff, makes it dilute,
And the other stuff consequently becomes weaker:
That’s reasonably hard to refute.

In this world, if you’re after a stronger solution,
It’s not really much of a chore.
Make the level of solvent involved Lilliputian;
By making the solute much more.

Now this water I speak of is H2 and O
That’s all that you need to get wet.
And if water can feel or remember or know,
Then nobody has proven it yet.


But there is another, less rational world,
Of conjecture and magical tricks,
Which a young Samuel Hahnemann boldly unfurled
In the year seventeen ninety-six.

On a whim, he decided that ‘like must cure like
Because something he took for malaria,
Made him woozy and sick, and his temperature spike
(Though he did no research in this area).

In this world, homeopathy came and it stayed,
For two centuries it’s been between us.
In that time, the perceptible progress it’s made
Is akin to a honey bee’s penis.

In this upside-down world, taking poison’s okay,
As long as it’s made a bit wetter,
And diluted so much that it’s all gone away,
Because when it’s not there, it works better.

But this remedy can be made stronger, of course:
Wrap a plank in an old leather jacket,
And to unlock the remedy’s energy force
You just shake it around and you whack it.

Now this water forgets all the salt of the shore,
And the fluoride and sewage and bubbles,
And the sponges and pipes that it’s been through before,
But remembers to fix all your troubles.