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The Day the World Stopped

by John Exell

The world suddenly stopped.
No-one quite knew how or why,
But it did, it suddenly stopped.

Workaholics rolled over and stayed in bed.
Some city gents managed
to get to the railway station,
But there were no trains, Not even ticket collectors.
It was such a lovely day,
That they just stood upon the platform,
Chatting idly to their neighbours,
Who they saw every morning,
Monday to Friday, But never spoke to.
The hot sun, and their new found relaxation,
Caused them to take off their ties,
And neatly folded
their discarded jackets over their arms.
After a while they strolled off,
In groups or in pairs,
Aimlessly wandering through tree lined avenues
And path ways.

There was no discordant noise.
No distant hum or traffic, no blare of radio,
Just bird song, sweet bird song,
And the gentle sound of laughter
between new found friends.

There was no power.
Televisions and radios ceased to function.
The morning papers failed to arrive,
The paper boys were still fast asleep.

Estranged couples were forced into conversation.
They were awkward at first,
But after a short while,
Memories came flooding back,
And for the first time in years,
They discovered
that they rather enjoyed each other's company.

The worried, the anxious, the neurotic,
Their minds suddenly ceased
their constant whirring.
They sat there, at peace,
A large smile appearing on their faces.

Some school children managed to get in,
But on finding that no teachers were there,
Went off, to play in the park.

The swots nervously joined in the fun,
And soon were wondering
What was so important about exams anyway.

The world had definitely changed,
A new feeling was in the air, but indefinable.
Sworn enemies were seen
laughing and joking with each other,
And crying in each other's arms.

The shy ones made a bee-line for their secret loves, So secret,
they were the only ones who knew about it.
They openly declared their passion,
And nine times out of ten were accepted.

Innermost secrets, desires and dreams
Began to become concrete realities.
On their fulfilment,
Many wondered what all the fuss had been about,
And went on to greater dreams
and richer fulfilment.
Many found their heart's desire,
And were happy
for the first time that they could remember.

Having their dreams fulfilled,
Their attention was turned to the unfortunates.
Beggars were invited to the breakfast table,
The homeless were given the spare room,
The outcast were accepted.

Street parties were organised,
The rich giving generously.
The local vicar
brought his crate of communion wine,
After first drinking a bottle.

After several weeks of merry-making,
The food supplies began to dwindle.
The people realised that some jobs were essential.
Those in necessary jobs went back to work.
Those not, the salesmen, the insurance agents,
The politicians, the bank clerks,
Went to help at the local hospitals, the farms,
The schools, the food shops.

Soon the world created its own balance,
Not dictated by politicians or economics,
But by the heartfelt need of the people.
Thus began the New Golden Age,
Sudden in its beginning,
But long in its lasting.