Stranger Danger


Sternly warned against outsiders;

Stranger danger: consider the risks.

What joy sacrificed by safe living.

Avoid all goodness in case of poison;

Steer clear of life in case of letdown.

To converse with a stranger just once

Is a tall drink of something exotic…

A new world, a million flavours;

Who knows what it may bestow.

Sets the mind spinning, pondering;

Brightens the dullest, darkest day;

Bursts fresh perspective in the deep.

Each conversation, just a few minutes

To transcend weather (what shock!)

Brings a high, or a thoughtful hour:

Melody, harmonies, surprises, depth;

Soothing or stabbing; harsh; alive.

Conversation addicts, leads astray;

Shatters prejudices, echo chambers;

Tears us gently from long-held fears;

Inspires thought, new realms, ideas;

Far too dangerous, this exotic drink.

Where could minutes take the mind?

If minutes thought, would they yell?

But oh, the temptation is too great;

Every bus-stop; every queue –

Worldviews, perspectives on all sides

How can I not indulge, and learn?

What is forfeited or lost in silence?

Often ‘chat’ is the worst medicine.

Smalltalk the mind-numbing lies;

The very attitude a guilt-laden sack.

So for others’ sake may I refrain:

Brokenness exposed harder to ignore;

Concealed by pretense depresses.

So may I discern; then stay quiet.

Yet others find in it healing strength

Unmatched by drugs or rest or food

New ideas, beyond the weather;

Neglecting respectable Britishness

In search of that strange new drink.

Written March 2018 (by Kat Gibson).

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