by Jon Inglis

Broadest Canvas is a play for voices that seeks to illustrate the battles
experienced in search of truth. There is a solitary actor on stage,
spotlit on a black background, the dialogue of the same actor's voice
is heard off-stage. These voices illustrate the memory re-call of the
formulative parts of his known life which have influenced him or still
invade his senses. Equally the actuals of inner emotions, some turbulent,
and their effect upon him form a question and answer rhetoric. The play
seeks to illustrate that there is always a point of return from the
impossible position and that with hindsight all experience can be
translated into a truthful sense of being.

In this battle to re-create his own selfhood, man is governed by the needs of his demands and the
supply of these demands. They are the subject of both inner and outer
conflict of the senses, showing that reason is often discarded by the sheer
strengh of feelings which are not understood, even by himself. Yet with
hope and belief a move is made toward knowing. He recognises that the
cost would be high when entering into the quest for self knowledge, and in
flushing his consciousness he makes it possible to appreciate the vast
unfolding miracle of life. This gives him not only a sense of release but
a recognition of growing self-hood in truth and the ability to find a
purpose in being.


Voice 1  To-day there was no news?
No one was dead?
And no one was found in no ones bed?
And the weather was the best report,
they said.
Even the Bard himself
was wracked in mental strife
"to be or not to be" for life.
How many since have asked again
the same question
with the same unanswered refrain?
Soldiers, throughout the planet,
encircle every mile
as experts predict by graph
either to-morrows smile
or a promise to return to the belly-laugh.

(Short pause)
Voice 1  Have a good look, you baggage called Flotsam,
in this backwash named Failure.
Youre a hulk-wrecked arrival
washed by gales called progress
in deep waters of commerce.
Do you threaten to sail, and feeling hopeful
are fanned by winds of sincerity
in new seas of discovery,
yet engulfed by avarice.
Bent by efficiency
and dazzled by bonus
you're given to takers
and elimated by symbols.
Perhaps humbled by circumstance, instead of desire,
you sail dire straits, beyond the Cape of Good Gracious,
where the lift of an eyebrow can shatter an accent,
still tortured by whispers of scandal and malice,
served mouth-deep in smiles, and yet lacking true feeling.

Voice 2  I am truly a victim of pragmatic intrusion,
and fail to jettison a single illusion,
brutalising myself, then hurting all others
I justifiably feel there is no one to talk to.

Voice 1  Can you be purred to like wives of rich aged husbands
who persuasive in promise, fail in fulfilment,
and who never acknowledge the lack of credentials?
Like a straightened bend in the lines of production,
ignore at peril sponsors permissions
whose dreams of perfection are dots on a slide rule.
Who can serve a He whose Him is acknowledged arrival?

Voice 2  I painfully ignore the real pulses of living,
with each gentle moment freeing the senses,
and see-saw from belief to agnostic
knowing such transits have no place of arrival
and that neither has a true place in logic
but which are highly exhorted by the false academic.

Voice 1  Avoid seniors who humour from carpets of status,
feared by others, yet too small to be measured
except in their rose tinted mirror of ego
and flotsam of selfhood.

Voice 2  Who is guilty of past incestuous carnage?

Voice 1  They are the benefactors, yet in no way custodians
who denounce yesterdays heritage
like a trumpet disciple of derisions division,
quoting crested arms of this school and that vogue
and ruled by the ties of flag-waved conventions.
Beware of supporting misgotten causes
whose final objectives are in obsolete contention.
The involvement encroaches on time with your loved ones
robbing the roots of existence and sense of identity.

Voice 2  Truly I'm thrust at by volumes of heavy persuasions
that reap subsequent harvests of travail and discord,
an evil more monstrous than past time has begotten.

Voice 1  Demand a halt to states ordained dictates,
and weep alone, alone not by birthright
but by insult to reason
which distorts feeling in over-indulgence.

Voice 2  There is fear of labels through lack of acceptance
shipwrecked by platitudes, clad in cliches dogma.

Voice 1  Aye, but remember the war of last proven companions,
who cared, though they cursed right through to oblivion,
who bled at that altar,
upholding its merit,
attempting to offer the unborn,
a fear free tomorrow.
Whisper, in reverence, as you remember,
or lost by their absence, dwell not in misery.
Taste the fruits of their efforts,
and decry not their sacrifice.
What we see now in human behaviour
is not what they died for,
though we live in their leeway
our actions are libel.

Voice 2  Do you jeering concede fear drives men together
and when it recedes they revert to the jungle?

Voice 1  Dismiss not these words as those of a cynic,
the cynics a failure on the draft of humanity,
an acknowledged recipient of fate fired missiles
emerging from history,
that still maim and disfigure both now and tomrrow.

Voice 2  Whatever the system, it is always an echo,
never a voice, an eloquent who feigns silence
at legacies misfortunes,
one who is fleshweary to the point of submission,
yet paradoxically castigates human direction,
a versatile acrobat in historic fashion.

Voice 1  Jettison these prospects which may never enfold you,
and realise that they have sapped good resistance.
Kindle again a faith in humanity.
Stay still an ally of truth and illusion
carefully balanced by needs and digestion.
Rather seek rescue in discarded dogma
than willingly surrender to apathys negation.
Each has known succour is often a casualty
a casualty of stations, and stations locations.
Thrust on unmasking,
measure up wound healing,
seek mutual survival from all sides of the spectrum.
Acknowledge the impact of lifes higher intelligence.
Return through the deed, as a pilgrim of progress,
for caring to compassion is the highest of virtues.

Voice 2  Stop! Stop! I beg you. End this intrusion,
leave me to wallow within this confusion,
for I am but housed in my temperate bubble.
Burst me, I bleed just like a rhodent.
I am but a blink in times measured eye-lid.
This scene, though its true, oerwhelms me
to the point of amnesia.
Leave me to tarry, for richer or poorer
in unhealth and unthinking within safe horizons.
The hurt that you offer is too much for survival,
the threshold of pain leads to exhaustion.
My reactions are sure to those feelings within me,
but I am surrounded by happening, confounding the senses,
happening that violates all without pardon.
What can I do to effect that which matters?
Must I speak to those in the corridors of power,
those reformers and informers that grope for the planets,
ignoring, by heavens, the good earth beneath them?
Myself, I've recorded the fact thats important,
that still There's an answer to problems with options,
options that meet the reality of happening,
which differs from facts we are led to believe.

Voice 1  Understand me, dear friend, hurt is not meant.
Tell me, companion, remembering your childhood
what pictures still bloom in your mind?

Voice 2  My plea you have heard. Why do you still question?
Surely you know the depth of endurance,
because of the options that await us together,
that we are the targets of heavy persuaders
who offer lip service to the demands of expediency.

Voice 1  The reason I question is steeped in the answer,
the value of the answer affects all mankind.

Light dip and 20 sec pause

Next Page