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 Raving Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.