Brand New Ancients

In the old days the myths were the stories we used to explain ourselves.

But how can we explain the way we hate ourselves, 

the things we've made ourselves into, 

the way we break ourselves in two,

the way we over complicate ourselves?




But we are still mythical.

We are still permanently trapped somewhere between the heroic and the pitiful.

We are still godly; that's what makes us so monstrous.

But it feels like we've forgotten we're much more than the sum of all the things that belong to us.

There may be no monsters to kill,

no dragons' teeth left for the sowing,

but what there is, is the flowing

of rain down the gutters, 

what there is is the muttering nutters.



What we have here is a brand new mythic palette: 

the parable of the mate you had who could have been anything but he turned out an addict.

Our morality is still learned through experience

gained in these cities in all of their rage and their tedium and yes- 

our colours are muted and greyed but our battles are staged all the same and we are still mythical:

call us by our names.



The plight of a people who have forgotten their myths

and imagine that somehow now is all that here is

is a sorry plight, all isolation and worry - 

but the life in your veins it is godly, heroic.

You were born for greatness; believe it. Know it. 

Take it from the tears of the poets.


There have always been heroes and there's always been villains

and the stakes may have changed

but really there's no difference.

There's always been greed and heartbreak and ambition and bravery and love and tresspass and contrition - 

we're the same beings that began, still living in all of our fury and foulness and friction, 

everyday odysseys, dreams and decisions...

The stories are there if you listen.


The  stories are here, 

the stories are you, 

and your fear and your hope is as old

as the language of smoke, 

the language of blood,

the language of 

languishing love. 



We are perfect because of our imperfections.

We must stay hopeful; 

We must stay patient- 

because when they excavate the modern day

they'll find us: the Brand New Ancients. 


Text taken from Brand New Ancients, a poem by Kate Tempest

Images taken by me