The Coasts of Anhedonia – Poetry

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

The land,

this land,

is not a problem to be solved.  

It is a matrix,

this mother,

for health.  

The great migrations of the day—

from Syria, the South, central Africa—

are symptoms 

of a greater dis


It’s not just about resources 

and economic opportunity 

(or lack thereof).  

These are the coasts of a cultural anhedonia—

an inability to find pleasure 

and to thrive on the good land.


We have taken all this juice, 

all this joy,

(Gerard’s Spring),

and made of it 

an ugly thing.  

We’ve tacked up boards 

on the windows. 

Suffocated our homes. 

Lined our thoroughfares with loan offices 

and convenience stores.  

While churches and masonic lodges 


into dust.  

There is no beauty—no life.


What are opioids but the death spiral of dulled senses?  

What are these birds outside my window 

but an angel’s appeal 


to wake up?

–Alex Joyner

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