That Sweet Serenade

peaceful scene

Where is the silence, that sweet serenade,

to bring me some peace, with a soft calming air,

to heal me, to soothe me; a sun-dappled glade,

where gentleness sits in an old rocking chair,

for long is the journey, the path hard to find,

shaded by shadows, illusions of light,

this stumbling forward, this walk of the blind,

endlessly seeking a way towards sight,

in lands full of troubles that fall like the rain,

and flow by black streams to plutonium seas,

while we struggle, alone, with Time’s heavy chain,

each of us damned by the loss of the keys,

but I’m tired of asking, the asking a plea,

for silence, for peace, some rest for my head,

so to hell with it all, I’m up for some tea,

or whisky, or stronger, to ward off the dead.

 

Jupiter Rising

 

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To see Jupiter rising in a May evening sky,

an arcing bright light among shivering leaves

and early white blossoms of an old cherry tree,

caused me to think of my brief passage through time

as the rise and the fall of a lone shooting star,

a wanderer, from nowhere, whose gone in a flash,

while the planet, unchanged, moves still on its path,

and the leaves, from bright green, turn to autumnal gold,

then fall, and decay, yet with spring are reborn,

while the blaze that was me is now just smoke and dark dust.

 

The Exile

 

Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Der_Wanderer_über_dem_Nebelmeer

I’m now just an exile from a disappeared land,

whose path has been set by an unseen hand,

unloved, and unsung, and unknown to these

who walk through their lives on bloody bent knees,

shameful and broken, or hang from tall trees,

where love is for sale and hatred is free,

served with the news over coffee or tea,

where all are mad once for madness is all

when few mourn lost Virtue or Reason’s long fall,

and the wind in the grass, once a sweet breath,

brings darkness, brings storms, brings trouble and death,

yet Spring makes me sing and play my guitar,

for the notes are my dreams of a happiness far,

to be found on the maps of that ancient lost land,

that lies somewhere, they say, near old Samarkand.

 

 

The Living We Love, The Dead That We Mourn

 

Goya, man-war

For the living we love,

the dead that we mourn,

a question long-asked,

without answer remains;

why men kill for money,

in crimes they call wars,

arranged over dinner,

and the finest Chablis.

 

You hear what they say,

‘it’s what has to be’,

‘they’re evil you know’,

‘there’s no other way’,

chanted like prayers

on the video screens,

by those artful with lies,

it’s not what it seems,

who solemnly state,

‘it’s for justice, dear friends’

“for liberty, for freedom,

‘by god, for your life,’

so no answer comes,

so it’s little I know,

but behold, I see Justice

now rides a pale horse

and carries her banner,

bloodied,

upside turned down.

 

 

 

Sitting Bull’s Tears

S Bull

 

(On Seeing Sitting Bull’s War Shirt at the Royal Ontario Museum)

 

They were in a glass case, with labels and maps,

his moccassins, his headdress, some old photographs,

but center of all his sacred war shirt

worn into battle that hot day in June,

when the steady wind whispered with American lead,

as he fought for the weak, the mighty brought low

a great peoples leader, the great Sitting Bull,

now a footnote to history, on display in a case,

his shirt now a trophy, for tourists and kids,

and in cold black and white, it seemed from the light,

that his eyes glowed from tears he bled every night,

so far from his people, so far from his land,

a Toronto amusement, a museum his tomb.

 

 

 

The Reasons We Fight

strike-arvind

I was hired for money,

But gave them my life,

In their factories, their mills,

In the sweat, and the strife,

I gave them my time,

And I gave them my blood

Like honey, my smiles,

Vast riches, a flood,

 

They bound me in chains

Of bills, loans and debt,

Like the others a slave,

And no escape yet,

Robbed of my mind

Of all my own thoughts,

Pumped in their own

Through lies that they write

For they suck life for gold,

Like vampires of old,

Just so you know

The reasons we fight.

 

 

Painter’s-Box Sky

window-sunrise_19-99977

The painter’s-box sky presents its grand show,

free of a charge or a fee,

the rose-yellow light,

the splashes of white,

a brush of the blue in between,

are colours of dawn

emerging from dusk

as night slips slowly away

and comforting thoughts,

in the warmth of a bed,

to the old reality turn;

to lies on their lips,

their gods of the sun,

their crimes,

our blood in the sand,

as down in the street

comes that crowd without end,

rushing to be there on time.