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Eye of the Optimist-Screaming City (poem)

Vancouver is among many communities across Canada experiencing an opioid crisis at present. Illicit hard drugs and pharmaceutical drugs contain opioid substances that are fatal in small doses, and many users including addicts of prescribed pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs are succumbing to killers such as fentynol, either accidentally or with knowledge that their ingested substance contains it. Bodies are dropping and expiring throughout the population and in many urban centres. This situation has reached such a crisis that the number of deaths due to such drugs has skyrocketed. Emergency services are consumed with handling frequent calls to rescue victims, often to no avail.

Signs of this crisis were quite noticeable to me upon my return to Vancouver, the place of my birth. The screams of emergency vehicles dashing hither and thither day and night were striking; never before have I heard so many and so frequently. Processing this experience, I wrote a reflection in the form of a poem today.

As it so happens, the Prime Minister is in Vancouver today to meet with health care providers and emergency service personnel to discuss this dire issue.

Reflecting on this situation, I had to consider causes beyond the availability of the culprit harmful substances to acknowledge the over-reliance of the medical system on chemicals as well as the state of humanity that is eager for quick extreme pleasure, or is so deeply unhappy that relief in the form of drugs is sought. I also pondered on the problem of addiction. It is baffling and complex.

Screaming City

Cries in the night
And by day
Cries of agony
Cries of pain
Wailing heard
Throughout the city
At all hours
"Something must be done!"
Is yet another high-pitched call
"What can be done?"
Is a question that
Augments the despair
Emergency services--
I hear them howling right now--
Screaming urgency
Can't you hear?
Material evidence
Of crisis
Why? Why? Why?
Do the city streets
Scream so much?
How did this situation
Poison fed to the unsuspecting
The hopeful
Poison upon poison
Crimes upon crimes
Why don't you suspect by now?
Oh, the perplexity
The complexity
Of addiction!
The lure of promised joy
They make me want to scream, too
The pain infects
The epidemics of agony
And desire
The cure cannot be simple
Scream in frustration!
Scream for action!
Screams demanding attention
Amid partakers of parties
Fine meals
And pleasant pastimes
In beautiful surroundings
Meanwhile, the city sobs
Rains pour
Dissatisfaction weeps
Tragedy overflows
Predicament of humanity
Fact of residence
Mournful soul
That desires
Wants more, more
Or becomes trapped 
In downward spiral motion
Life cycles turn
Despite the wailing
Life itself a wail
Wailing in the pain
Of living
The city screams
Torment claws and rips
Corruption ensues
In the normal course 
Of daily business
Habits catch on
Desires brew
City teeters on the edge
Screaming out danger
Screaming for relief

March 3, 2017
Vancouver, BC

4 Comments to Eye of the Optimist-Screaming City (poem):

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do my paper for me on August 16, 2017 9:55 PM
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need help with essay writing on April 24, 2019 12:29 AM
Being an optimistic person is something that I want to share with other people. I always used to look at things positively because I think this will make my life way too much better. It will be hard if we focus on the negative things, instead of achieving it, there will be a higher chance of failing. I encourage people to look at the better side always. You will surely have the things that you want if you always believe in yourself.

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