There Was Time

 

 

 

 

 

There are no empty cities, silent as tombs, not yet.

There are no atomic missiles falling from the sky.

It’s a rainy, spring day, the air heavy with blossom.

The greening grass glistens and birds sing their songs.

Cars pass by, planes drift overhead, though fewer than before,

There’s no reason to fear, not in this small town,

That’s never suffered from tornado or war, but there is time.

 

There was time in The Bahamas, Puerto Rico too, plenty of time,

Then it hit, in the night, they heard the winds howl, saw the waters rise,

Clutched at babies torn from their arms by violent seas,

They could not take it in, at first. It was hard to take in.

Everyone loved them, the beaches and palms, their friendly ways,

The waters were azure, lapping gold sands, places pristine,

Then it was gone, blown into rubble, flooded two fathoms deep,

The trees stripped clean, boats shattered, bodies rotting in the heat.

They had prayers and hopes, lived decently, if poor.

But none of it helped, when it hit,

These were people like any others, did what others do,

Worked when they could, thought of finer things,

They’d heard of the change, but then that’s life,

So some said, making fun of the threat,

Because they did not understand or didn’t want to,

It wasn’t enough to save them, when the lights went out,

When the sky and the sea became one.

 

There are buds on the trees, soft clouds in the sky,

There are whales still diving deep in the sea, there is time,

But the fires raged the summer long, wherever summer is,

Burned down forests, and towns, the animals and insects,

Billions they say, exterminated, extirpated, erased, nowhere to flee,

And people too, though most were lucky to come out with their clothes,

They too thought things were ok, ignored the warnings, the signs,

The wise ones who knew and spoke but were silenced or mocked,

Or worse just ignored, people just didn’t want to know,

And when it happened looked for others to blame.

People are like that, for they thought they had time,

Freud have mercy on us, forgive us our minds,

 

There was time in New York, until three buildings came down.

Then their armies Hurrahed! and their new wars began,

It could have been stopped, but nothing was done,

Protests were peaceful, and so were ignored,

One country fell, then another, and more,

They claimed it was peace, as Hitler had done, and the people believed,

They had to, to accept it, to cheer it, went along to get along,

They claimed it was just, for the good of mankind, to make us feel good,

But everyone knew, who wanted to know, what the truth was.

 

There was time on the farms ‘til the rain stopped coming,

Or never stopped when it fell, ‘til the heat dried the soil,

And stunted the crops, made life living hell,

That air-conditioned nightmare Miller wrote of so well,

But there was time for some to claim it was all a charade

Nothing to be worried about, claim it was man made

Could be undone at will, it was all a big game,

But the floods and the winds and the storms didn’t listen.

The Barrier Reef died, the oceans became poison,

The great forests died, the bees disappeared, fireflies vanished,

But they thought there was time.

There was time at Chernobyl, at Fukushima, Japan,

When they exploded the bombs that foretold our doom,

There was some time for loving but more time for hate,

For it’s easy to hate, to give the stiff-armed salute,

When ignorance rises like air from a swamp,

When it’s all about me, and who cares about them,

There was time to improve, but the enlightened were killed,

Or pushed to the side, all of us guilty, with something to hide.

For life cares no more about us than the gods we devised,

Then Nature struck back with another strong blow,

Still there was time, time for the blaming, your fault, not mine,

‘There is time,’ they all shout, but we’ve surrendered it all,
We’ve wasted the Earth, we’ve wasted ourselves.

‘Christ have mercy on us.’

“Freud have mercy on us,”

“Marx have mercy on us.”

“Life have mercy on us.”

There is no mercy for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fading Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While robins woke to fading stars,

That drew fat worms to morning doom,

And tired hands sought coffee jars,

Still half in dream and nightly tomb,

While prostitutes and presidents,

Walked secret streets, or secret rooms,

And madmen claimed it all made sense,

But nightly danced in drunken fear,

While others stared in innocence,

But couldn’t help a sudden tear,

Rising from their aching hearts,

For those they lost they once held dear,

A message came from foreign parts,

Of something strange passed through the air;

As if a fusillade of poisoned darts,

That pierced the old and young, the sad and fair,

In silence, swift, and thus, unseen,

As Satan climbing Heaven’s stair,

His strength renewed and body lean,

To reclaim his old authority,

And sit the chair where God had been,

Sans remorse, regret, sans pity,

First one succumbed and then the many,

From east to west, in town, in city,

The working poor lost every penny,

And sat alone, apart, in wonder,

For them escape there was not any,

As the world around them broke asunder,

For existence cares not what your name,

Or what day they put you under,

And while many played the ancient game,

Of searching entrails for some secret reason,

A bleating scapegoat they could blame,

Others knew we’d had our time, our run, our season,

Had squandered all, destroyed the world,

Against Life itself had plotted treason,

So down the great abyss were hurled.

 

Time Walks Towards Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time walks towards me aglow in shadowed light,

Without remorse or pity, as a creature of the night,

Hunting for the present to turn future into past,

That eternity in the second which may be my very last,

While from the darkly distance voices whisper ghostly in my ears,

For everyone is talking and never saying much,

Wittgenstein was right you know, it’s all just such and such,

Meanings lost, or never known except by fools and saddened clowns,

While modern Cinderellas swear and tear at tattered gowns,

In disbelief the party’s done and now all they have are fears,

For Demeter is back in charge, the corn lays at her feet,

Dying, dead, decaying, wrapped up cold in winter’s sheet,

Awaiting resurrection that for us will never come,

Despite the never ceasing prayers, you’re better off with rum

And wine, and some kisses with your tears,

If love you’ll ever find again in a world awash with hate,

As if ordained, a destined end, a foretold tragic fate,

For where be now our heroes when courage is a crime,

And we live in lonely prisons with walls you cannot climb.

 

 

Have You?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you thought of what you’re gonna do

When they’re near to drive you mad,

Will you kiss the air when no one’s there,

Embracing shadows of the past,

Or tango solo to the radio,

Wondering, what the fuck’s it for,

High on fumes of platitudes, of bullshit and the lies,

Awareness setting in too late, you’re too far gone to care,

No reflection in the mirror, only silence when you speak,

But for whisperings of those devils, the ones you thought you beat,

Or will you reminisce of taste and touch, of kisses in the dark,

Her hand guiding yours that night,

As the stars looked down and watched,

And made their bets on who’d come first,

As your hand guided hers.

 

 

 

 

 

So far From Barren Hopes They Lay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far from barren hopes they lay

They silent spent the break of day,

When from their dreams they started up

And drank their last from one shared cup.

Then, as one, they rose, with hollow eyes,

To don their arms ‘neath scarlet skies,

Red with bloody disillusionment,

The deaths of Reason, Art; Enlightenment.

They gathered round in sad conclave,

In secret grove by secret grave,

Where Justice lay in righteous earth,

Wrapped in memories of her worth.

And swore an oath with up-raised fists,

As vows rang out through gloomy mists,

To search each land and distant sea,

And slay the Hydra, Tyranny.

But doomed they were to search in vain,

With broken heart and endless pain,

For, in them, it was, the monster slept,

And, as they left, the heavens wept.

 

To Live Through Life As Does This Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To live through life as does this tree

Would succour, sooth and comfort me,

To feel the earth as does its roots,

And breathe the sky through greening shoots,

Or feel the rain with upheld leaves,

Trembling, as a night dream weaves

Strange fancies in the birds that sleep,

Or, softly wakened, sadly weep,

Aware, alone, and lost,

Burdened by new solitudes and, expectancy of frost;

But there comes man with axe and fire,

His death machine and funeral pyre,

Mortal foe to all that grows and lives,

Who, exultant, takes, but never gives.