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.

 

A Glass of Rum

A-shot-of-rum-001

A glass of rum before me now,

as pure as juice of gold,

is all that’s left of younger dreams,

once dreamt in younger days,

of a world by love and labour ruled,

not banks, the cruel, the thieves,

and all their creeping underlings,

who with dismal shadows work,

as pale of skin, as pale as death,

for day they’re shamed to see,

a world where none could ever think to hate,

for then we’d hate ourselves,

by struggle freed from heavy chains

they from our blood long forged,

freed with righteous justice,

by all our righteous might,

all power by us seized, at last,

to end the endless night,

to end the endless sacrifice,

to gods with drunken smiles,

to make a life worth living,

to try to learn the way,

the way with nature, and ourselves,

but now this glass is all there is,

and nightmares fill my sleep,

a chaos swept by darkness,

dark clouds without a sky.

 

 

 

The Wild Winds Weep Tears of Rage

 

The Idiot, Goya

The wild winds weep tears of rage

and howl in bitter pain

at the certain fate of human kind

by hubris now brought low,

ravaged by bold ignorance,

by avarice seduced,

lost in lust with eager death

their lust for smell of war,

who yet upright, amazed, surprised,

awakened, see our bodies full of wounds,

and look on in splendid wonder

as from our wounds blood flows,

the skies in stormy fury rage,

the raging fires burn,

the raging seas rise up as one,

yet still we blunder on,

as if in childish games we live,

of skip and blind man’s bluff,

as if our life’s an endless maze

of twist and turnabout,

unsure the way we entered in,

in fear we’ve no way out.