august morning villanelle

so long a silence covers up much pain

we can rejoice but we must still recall

this sun of freedom rises through the rain

 

why they were taken we need not explain

for weight of shadows on us casts a pall

so long a silence covers up much pain

 

of those who suffered for other folks’ gain

whose battered bodies hung against the wall

this sun of freedom rises through the rain

 

and still we dance our every hope made plain

elsewhise we’d stoop and crouch and bend and bawl

so long a silence covers up much pain

 

they won their battle and their long campaign

whose time of servitude was not so small

this sun of freedom rises through the rain

 

with words of justice sung in no wild strain

by men and women proudly standing tall

so long a silence covers up much pain

this sun of freedom rises through the rain

mastery

to travel takes us back to where we start

all journeys have good learning as their end

but no one can go further than their heart

 

we seek a place from which pain must depart

leaving us healthier and with a friend

to travel takes us back to where we start

 

where all our bags are piled upon the cart

yet we can see those folk who will not bend

but no one can go further than their heart

 

so we have gone unto a place apart

to understand but not to reprehend

to travel takes us back to where we start

 

into the torment that must make us smart

beyond the certain hope which we defend

but no one can go further than their heart

 

therefore we master the creative art

that teaches us the ways in which to blend

to travel takes us back to where we start

but no one can go further than their heart

the guilty party

too many answers come down to the same

non-explanation of the simple fact

we are the ones who always bear the blame

 

for all the anger we have one hard name

clear and precise both noble and exact

too many answers come down to the same

 

wave of exhaustion so that we must claim

not what we earned but all the goods we lacked

we are the ones who always bear the blame

 

for what was lost and for the constant shame

that was included in the lost compact

too many answers come down to the same

 

inauguration of the truth of fame

which we can neither add to nor detract

we are the ones who always bear the the blame

 

for those who come when we call the right name

but have no thought of what it means to act

too many answers come down to the same

we are the ones who always bear the blame

the turning of the wheel

no matter what we say we do not feel

the pain of others right inside each heart

instead we wait the turning of the wheel

 

for one more challenge for the last appeal

which was presaged right at the very start

no matter what we say we do not feel

 

our hopes and urges have been brought to heel

and the last hero laid upon a cart

instead we wait the turning of the wheel

 

to see the message and to take our meal

in comfort all who come here will depart

no matter what we say we do not feel

 

we will start forward and then we will reel

back down in sign that we have lacked the art

instead we wait the turning of the wheel

 

for what is good the last hard spring of steel

yet still the while some fool will strain to fart

no matter what we say we do not feel

instead we wait the turning of the wheel

the last republic

our hearts with humour and with pain are crammed

the world defies our choices and our rage

in the republic of the wholly damned

 

we spoke and then our thoughts were truly slammed

by those who said that with keen words on page

our hearts with humour and with pain are crammed

 

the metre’s right and the line’s not enjambed

yet all we get is a poor poet’s wage

in the republic of the wholly damned

 

since for the moment the signal’s not jammed

so that the the enemy cannot engage

our hearts with humour and with pain are crammed

 

until they burst and our dead corpses rammed

into the the dullest moments of the age

in the republic of the wholly dammed

 

by those who thought that the most decent shammed

their honest words and strutted on a stage

our hearts with humour and with pain are crammed

in the republic of the wholly dammed

a new century

a century ago the world began

in blood and pain the auguries were wild

so many things have changed in a short span

 

my father’s world the currents overran

there was no time for words or thoughts too mild

a century ago the world began

 

we have to choose which of the screens to scan

it is too easy to become beguiled

so many things have changed in a short span

 

and we are all entranced woman and man

by all the facts that overcome the child

a century ago the world began

 

two shots and then the faeces struck the fan

for all mankind none would be reconciled

so many things have changed in a short span

 

the light itself has been placed under ban

and all that once was purest been defiled

a century ago the world began

so many things have changed in a short span

the victor’s tale

to those who wait there is no better name

in the wide oceans for the coming wild

giving us hope when all we had was shame

 

our fathers left us heritage of blame

although their rule was temperate and mild

to those who wait there is no better name

 

except perhaps the trumpet cry of fame

though that by wise folk is sometimes reviled

giving us hope when all we had was shame

 

the thought of danger puts us in the frame

yet for our good we left the hearth exiled

to those who wait there is no better name

 

for hero but we find the story lame

and punish those we thought might just have smiled

giving us hope when all we had was shame

 

since now we learn the whole thing is a game

and the best player no more than a child

to those who wait there is no better name

giving us hope when all we had was shame