Friday, August 5, 2011

2011 Voices

The gray felt sky
Muffles the heartbreak
Stills small voices
Desperate in debt.
Building cranes hang still.
Gleaming robot armies
Of massive unemployment.

Everyone is busy
Not knowing what to do.
Buy? Sell? Head for the hills?
Grim smiles and hopeless jokes,
The bus-stop a place for news.
Cigarette butts flicked like a full stop.
In an unfinished sentence.

Rise up? Against what ?
All debts are off.
Sold, lost, traded.
The enemy has no name,
No face.

Looking down,
From cloud-capped towers,
Gold, silk and tortiseshell
He ponders the poor.
Scurrying ants below.
The Olympian child
Lord of the Universe,
With mescaline veins
and a magnifying glass
In the sun.

Around the globe
A hundred lands
a billion voices in a thousand tongues
Exchange a trillion words
Each instant
With but one plaintive plea:
"Pick me! pick me! pick me!"
Tossing and twittering
In that banal insipid sea.

Crawling now
from endless drains
A billion dirty children
Lousy thin and uncomprehending
But hungry, always hungry, beadily watching
For the chubby man's slip, the fat woman's lapse
That lands a creamcake in the ghats
And a hundred legs come running.
These we may say to visitors from
Another world proudly, these are
Our children.

In the desert
Half drunk with anger
a broken dagger lies
in a rapists hand.
Honour as defilement.
Defilement as honour.
Nothing begets nothing
But motes of sand
Beneath the insane
of God's
unbearable eye.

At sea
Walls of steel
squeeze shining fish
Simmering seething blood
Into dolphin friendly cans.
The logical compression
Of sentimental destruction
Deaf to the wails
Of starving seas.

And roaring
Gulps down
A forest
Belches gas
Apologises hopefully but
No trees remain
to give leave.

In a modest hut
A mother sings
A lullaby to the baby
The family watch a gameshow
On a badly tuned TV.
The music of hope
Loud across the emptiness
To the animals standing
Patiently in the unaccustomed
Brilliance of a travelling star.

Its curving up
Its curving down
The circle seems different
From without or within
No-one honestly knows
Which direction we're going.
Just that we will all arrive together
In the end.