Weekly Poem #201

Trial

A painful, seizing jolt running up the inside of the thigh,

A courtyard forms a canal for heavy, thrashing, boiling waves,

Hammering through his ribs again and again, eroding them

Until a naked nervous system quivers like a bundle of subdued lightning bolts.

This is real fear, fear with teeth, a huge, closed jaw towering over him,

An iron door slowly creaking agape, the airlock opening to the silent vacuum.

Feet cast in manacles, bruised shoulders wrapped in blighted garb

And a set of spear-tips leaning forwards behind him, blocking his escape.

Forward marching, slow awkward steps like a timid, broken animal

Being gently encouraged into the slaughterhouse and readied for death.

The rafters are packed with onlookers but the room feels empty as the void,

Eyes more like the hooded glow of sunlight struggling to negotiate morning fog,

Impotent, and devoid of all comfort, signal flares leading to the stand, the end.

To be told again and again that you’re a creature of legend, someone to be feared,

A man with so many skulls rattling about his ankles that they could form a pedestal,

Now so overcome with dread that he can barely even stand, let alone sit.

This is how legends end, shivering in the wake of new unfamiliar laws, miles from home,

In the grip of a nation he fought so hard to save his countrymen from, that he gave his all to defeat,

“More cruel than Herod”, someone had said. “Robber” “Thief” “Arsonist” “Murderer”

Names which hang heavy around his neck as the sweat pulls the blue shades of pride from his brow.

Given no occasion to speak, no chance to defend his actions or exercise his rights, he has none.

This was no law, this was theatre, parading the pantomime villain out for one last jeer

Before dragging him out by his ankles and strapping him to horses for the grand, gruesome finale,

Where every once of his flesh would be torn from the other, tarnished and destroyed until nothing remained.

The charges read, all the victories twisted as acts of malice, even as acts of treason,

He tries to speak out against that last accusation, voice failing somewhere deep in his battered chest

But the rafters erupt and his denials are drowned, before the final sentence drips from the judge’s sopping maw.

Stripped naked and dragged back out into the town he watches the doors close again, hears them slam,

The last sound that manages to find his mind before the cries of the mob envelop it, devour it.

Heels catching on cobbled ground, limbs shaking, eyes hollowed, noose awaited. This is how legends end.

Weekly Poem #180

Castles, Forests and Groats

 

Have you ever taken a walk through history?

Have you ever levered yourself slenderly between pages,

Walls of parchment, cemented with ink, creaking,

Splitting out into branches or fattening into stone walls.

Have you ever felt the bumps on the face of a 500 year old coin?

Felt the melted echoes of all the ancient fingers it passed between,

All the lives it pressed a heavy weight against, spinning, landing.

Have you ever pressed a bare foot against solid ground,

And met your nerve endings with the voices trapped beneath?

Layered limestone, magma, caverns and colossal carnivores,

Buried under tonnes of earthy icing, concrete crust, a gentle tap.

Have you ever realised that you’re caught in an air bubble,

Waiting to collapse into shattering sound when the fingers snap?

A precious split second of sparking light on the burning fuse,

The thunderclap that sounds when two eyelashes come together,

Then burst apart, and it all comes flooding back in again.

Have you ever tried to stand outside of time?

 

 

Weekly Poem #6

Under

 

No man is of the sky.

All our boots brush the same earth that we dig.

Yet you dig your hole, you place your supports and you build your house.

You do not go inside, he goes inside because he’s of the sky, your better.

We’re better, every last one of us.

Theirs is a lying tower, unsteady, unstudied, a tree of falling leaves.

Evergreen is an answer, an open embrace, come into us.

We’ll draw our blades together and cut into the future.

 

And cut they did, cut and dig and beam and nail.

The compound, once a white washed bedlam now a paradise

Lost to the large world and found by the happy leaderless.

They flocked in their hundreds to live on a page with no lines,

But what now? What to do? Why, build of course!

So build they did. Anything, everything. Housing, farming, sculpting.

The artisans, the masons, the cultivators, craft for the sake of craft.

They carved a new lexicon into freedom’s quarry.

 

That statue was heathen and it had to fall.

They didn’t see it, the others, but my eyes are larger.

It was a poisoned arrow that would split again and again,

Piercing ears and eyes until the venom frothed on the tongues.

A pointed finger!? The idea! Symbolic servitude, dripping the old way.

My boned fingers did not come to rest here for such,

So I turned my muscles on this betrayal, bore it to ground, ground it to shreds.

We are free from capital weights, no second root, no second shadow.

 

This cannot happen again, without law there must be structure.

Self proclaimed vigilante, so called, may have done justly

To tear the statue down, perhaps he spoke true of its ills.

Motion is marked and we all carry as one.

No image, no structure that might speak silent words of government.

The capital is not welcome here, we without master, we without coin.

Turn this turgid diversion to the memoirs and make motion,

We all carry as one. Build, brothers, build.

 

Law reaps like a rusted blade, dragging down the lesser.

True Evergreens came here to eschew such notions,

The need for order serves only to root out the brittle.

Rake all the dead browning red away and step forward!

This was a necessary revelation, they are not us, they carry nothing.

While we build our future they plot to bolt it down to old, wrinkled ideas.

They would sew us back to the rotten corpse of society

And let the maggots consume us. So we secede.

 

The nerve they show, to call us untrue?

To name us weak? He says no, he understands.

True Evergreens see order in the chaos, he says.

They offer us insult by calling us ‘the lawful’? Small minds breed small thoughts.

With new life comes new logic, we do not seek to control;

We all carry as one, we must all find out grip and balance.

Raise him up! Strong minds must echo and his is the strongest,

So he will be our compass into our new world.

 

A dead quarry, it hangs gaping like a festering maw of scabbing teeth.

Shovels make bar bones and bricks keep time for no songs.

The old way is dead, the new way is dying, save for him.

He doesn’t build, but we must, build to raise him skyward.

Build to make him immortal, the tall walker we denied.

Many hate what has become but say nothing, the lawful hand flushes,

Food, numbers, power. A python tongue to choke us blue.

The statue split us and now the statue buries us.

 

Stand up straight, cur! Admit to guilt and secrets stand dry.

The monument, desecrated, mocked. This is not our way.

So they line at the door and we shuffle them in to mark a martyr.

They all enlisted to our cause, gave up every past passing, inked, sealed.

We cut the wax and now the old lives lay for the butcher.

Bleed them dry for the love of blame, to keep it sanctified,

Whispers of tragic irony, of mutant causes and traitors.

We’ll bash out every ungrateful tooth and scald this slate untainted.

 

I’d do it again, this star collapsed long before.

Once the shore was pristine crystal, now browned by shit stained ships.

Carping coffins of plague rats, so I came with Greek fire.

Infernal wings closed and bristles scratched searing into sullied flesh.

The leafing shoot, now devoured by strangler fig, bent to an ugly C,

Given to natural truth, Evergreen wintered to kindling.

Compound consumed, quarry brazen, all a future memory.

The earth can have it all back, one day we’ll try again.

 

How long did they build? For what reason?

Houses, statues, towers, a Ferris wheel, fields of bones.

Scalded shells of this remote commune, unknown to all.

A single spark of death, no slow decay, this was here and in a instant

It was not. What pioneers engineered this removal?

What rebels resided within this fortress of freedom

And what fire purged the life? An amoeba, splaying out, now skeletal embers.

So many lives here, so many men. Given to the sky.

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