The Soldier Had A Puzzled Look

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soldier had a puzzled look,

His gun had jammed, so read a book,

That told him all he thought he knew,

While bullets flew just past his head,

Of knights and kings, and all they slew,

And wondered then if it was true,

The things they said about the dead,

 

But then there came the feared command,

To make their prayers for one more stand,

For peace at last without regrets,

At which they cursed and cried,

Fumbling with their bayonets,

They owed the slain too many debts,

The sea of blood was wide.

 

They didn’t know the enemy, the reason they were there,

Some said this and some said that and some just didn’t care,

For living wasn’t easy but graves they gave you free,

So, ready for the killing, but trembling as he stood,

Wondered where the gods were, oh, why they didn’t see,

The shattered earth and corpses, from mountain to the sea,

And what in us is worth a damn, is any bloody good.

 

November Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November month is cold and grey,

A time for books, for films, and tea,

When loneliness walks in the door,

And sits with sadness in the gloom,

When trees shed tears that fall as leaves,

And clouds in mourning gather round,

As mouldy men in dusty rooms,

Count their days in dividends.

 

 

 

 

She Sits In Silence

 

 

 

 

 

She sits in silence still,

A form, a question, a will,

Dreaming in the warm quiet,

Of burning lips and hot,

Sweet words,

Feeling her heart speak softly,

Seeing the music flow,

Through her long dark fingers,

Into the white open page,

For all to see,

Making the music,

Her heart always sings,

In Africa, alone,

With the moaning wind,

Only stars for friends,

And distant howling

Of savage dogs,

Far in the night,

Deep in the unknown,

A reality unforgiving, uncaring,

Hungry for the day, for the light,

Which never comes.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

The Old Man Raved

 

 

 

 

 

 

The old man raved the more he drank,

And the more he drank he raved,

Of such strange conceived and unheard things,

It made us almost mad,

But we knew that somewhere in his words

There lay the ring of truth,

And so we sat before him,

As he waved his glass around,

And told us of a land he’d found

While seeking shelter from the wars,

That seemed to him enchanted,

Or created in a dream,

Where people spoke with music,

And swords were shameful things,

Where philosophy was honoured,

And common folk were kings,

Where chains were made of flowers,

That bound eternal peace to love,

Where jails had not been thought of,

Nor devils, priests, or gods,

That wove a spell upon us so,

His dream became our own,

But when we asked where was this land,

In which direction did it lay,

He took his glass and drank it deep,

Then, in his raving way,

Declared he had to tell the world,

So left, but leaving, lost his way,

And spite his years of searching,

And growing old in Shangri-La,

He never found that path again,

So the dream began to fade,

But now old age had grabbed him,

Had seized him by the throat,

So remembered what they told him,

Of the universal Truth,

Expressed in Nature’s language,

That speaks within us all,

But few of us can hear it,

As we wander on our way,

At which his raving ended,

And slowly quiet he became,

And as he took another drink,

We wondered at his tale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prisoner

Goya-The prisoner

He sat in a chair,

unable to move

a prisoner without name

in the jail of despair

that rose high on the hill

of world circumstance,

surrounded by shouts

of the armies of night,

preparing for war

on the refuge of peace,

and as they prepared

the hot seas rose high,

the skies flashed with flame,

and even stars wept,

for the millions to die,

for those already slain,

while assassins and tyrants

claimed, with righteous disdain,

that it was all for our good,

that all would be fine,

and silenced the few

who dared still to protest.

 

 

 

Libyan Lament

dead_migrants_on_italy_shore

The air was hot, and thick to breathe,
The sun was red, and weeping,
The day they fled the burning town,
The stench of death still reeking,

Machines they came,
From cloudless skies,
Then came the sound of thunder,
Then flash of light,
Then blast of flame,
That tore their life asunder,

They ran in fear from NATO’s hate,
To the ocean’s cooling breeze,
And looked across the waters,
To the nations of those seas,
But saw no trace of Christian grace,
No tears, no kind reprieve,
Just jackal smiles and TV cheers,
That hailed a nation’s fate.

Tricked, betrayed, begrimed they slept,
On desert shores, abandoned,
For weeks their hopeless vigil kept,
Despair so deep it maddened,
It almost drove them to the rope,
Until they heard the captain’s words,
“My ship she puts to sea tonight,
But for that there is a price,
For my ship is named and named quite right,
The hopeless ones Last Hope.”

They paid him all their money,
They paid with acts of shame,
And then they prayed to silent gods
For words “We sail” that came.

The captain smelled of drink and death,
And smiled with dark-stained teeth,
He told them, ‘I’ve your money,
Now please descend beneath’,
He gave commands,
The crew obeyed,
And threw them down the hold,
To stench of oil,
And human waste,
The young, the frail, the old.

The engines throbbed, the people moaned,
In darkness deep they crossed the sea,
That led them from old Tripoli,
To the shores of Italy,

The night grew long,
The sea rebelled,
With wind and thunder drumming,
The waves rose high, the captain drank,
The crew climbed ropes taut humming,

They tried their best to save the ship,
To save themselves, and all,
They fought the storm,
They fought the wall
They fought with all they had,
But Neptune wove a ghastly wave,
That broke her back in two,
And down she went,
That good Last Hope,
To the cold and calm below.

The lonely dead soon washed ashore,
In twos and threes and more,
On foreign sands they rolled and lay,
On every bay and shore,
As TV sprouted tragic tales,
And asked, “who is to blame”?
But no answer dared they give,
And so no answer came.