Forum: Arts / Poetry

Missing title
By Scarletmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Mar 10, 2009 05:24 AM
Edited by Odessa (22571) on 2009-03-23 05:22:58 housekeeping

Here is a poem I keep going back and tweaking every so often. It's one I wrote at the beginning of 2008, when everyone opposed to the dredging of the bay in Melbourne was feeling particularly raw. I'd lived in Melbourne for about 2 and a half years at this point and was somewhat disillusioned with the city I'd admired as a Mecca for my youth, and also the country I am living in.

Enjoy :)


The Existential Blues

I.

Three men walked into a bar
And wept for a fallen king.
Said the Second to the First
and the Third to the Second,
He was the best king we'd ever had.
Said the First to his brother men,
Is this not the seed of progress?
The tide of change that we for so long
vowed to sow to usher forth?


A parable played, so solemnly, repeatedly
by the masses chatting hushedly,
Fervently proclaiming faith to a side
while stealing chips from the other.

A talk of change fills the air
as everyman/woman/child stops to stare
at the horizon, fading dimly over cadmium hills
Striding proudly over the saline dust
of our generation's looming betrayal.

The holes cannot be dug any deeper
as we already trudge shin deep in diesel sludge,
a cocktail of syringe, industrial and domestic infectious waste.
Grim tailing streaks painted by Toxic Waste Freaks.

We told them years ago that one metre was too much
and drew little nooses in our notepads and told ourselves,
Lucky our planes don't fall out of the red tail skies,
as the pies fly high over razor wired eyes
Staring at the silicone screen reminding us, ALL IS WELL,
EVERYTHING IS OKAY
, just don't open the door, walk outside,
don't even think to read a book, yes, even they are filled with
Lies! Lies! Lies!

Why would you even dare to dream?

IMMATURITY IS A TOXIN OF THE MIND,
said the crow-suited man to the masses
chained to the trees, and all the machines.
As a matter of fact, all they can see, conceivably,
is strangled by desperate cry while even hope dies.
I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND, said the crow-suited man
sipping deep the Burgundy, while the leaves shiver outside in the heavy night,
DO THEY NOT SEE PROGRESS? HOW CAN THEY NOT SEE?

There is more to see on a dead calm night,
we'll see the earth unfold before us,
the ground bare, the forest razed for plush RR interior.

Status Quo, they reasoned.
Millions of pillions riding headlong.
Good citizens watching cations shot faster
than Shinkansen through glowing silicon.
This is the silent voice of a nation
that can ignore the strife and grudgingly cast the vote.

And we stood back to watch the armchair nation
crush the protests with one bored twitch on worn out switch.
Their voices silenced, overruled!
Overruled by lawyers masquerading as musicians
The Artisan is dead! cried the clique that cared,
While the rest stood back and stared, to scared to care
for the face we laid bare.

And we all stare.

And we all stared as his serpent tongue ensnared all,
soothing us, selling us that this is progress.

Selling progress to the generations displaced,
snorting opal fuel and dying just a little slower,
dust caked on their feet.
We cannot believe that this could be paradise staring us directly in the eyes,
enigmatically sipping Chai with a bowl-tailored-blue-black fringe.
Sucking in the Café Kulture Binge.

If I can't name it, she thought, it must be art,
leaving the dregs of her latte
for the dreadlocked baristess, eking out a dollar for distress,
to buy fair-trade nothings to make that little difference
to fill up her suburban-sprawl-tower-hole-in-the-wall.
And in the hall was the junkie we all know
stepping on and through to a place more beautiful
than crackling green fluorescence bearing down on inhabitants.
Denizens, not citizens, filed away as third-world deviants.

We used to laugh, it was kind of a joke,
Living in a state of self-imposed poverty.
Impossibly, it seemed, earning unquantifiable wealth
as the towers draw higher, still marching on
in a greybrick parade to horizons curving away in
Dystrophic Megatopia.

I still see you breathing;
In the urban grid, with your poison gash,
In the glass towers tipping in the clouds,
In the cafés and bars tucked in the ground floors.

I still see your heart beating;
Pumping but passively, the smoke in your air,
The stench of your breath.

Your tree lined streets;
Bursting roots through bitumen.

You are brighter now with mercury flare tint,
Your madness no longer tiptoes, it lurks.
Looming through carbon monoxide progress,
nuclear waste benefit,
toxic tailing economics,
silicon enticement.

We are coming home.

Mark
(neo-deadbeat-Beatnik)

2 Replies to Missing title

re: Missing title
By Scarletmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Mar 22, 2009 05:34 AM
Edited by Scarlet (194795) on 2009-03-22 05:41:04
Edited by Scarlet (194795) on 2009-03-22 05:41:27 This is why you preview before you post, kids.
Edited by Odessa (22571) on 2009-03-23 05:23:40 housekeeping
The Existential Blues

II.


Who is on your list today?
Who's life would you strip away,
Or strip back 'til it is bare,
Far beyond the self aware?

Who is the wolf scratching at my door,
As I scream naked on my kitchen floor?
"Your thoughts are like a child's," bayed the nun,
She haunts convents still.

Old craggy hag,
Preaching of The One.

Pious before the hand of God strikes the hour,
Of penance paid in pennies in a modern prayer,
We lived in the houses of our fathers' brethren,
Germans in stucco, the English in tipis.

Let's dance, we sing, we are all brothers and sisters,
Let us dance upon the ruins of Babel,
Let us dance into the night,
Upon the graves of those too fearful to be alive...

Show me to the Vodka Locker

Mark
re: Missing title
By Scarletmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Mar 23, 2009 04:11 AM
Edited by Odessa (22571) on 2009-03-23 05:24:04 housekeeping
The Existential Blues

III.

Let us step out of the buildings into the cool night air,
Out here we are one with all, all with one, one with nothing.

Tear out the walls and see the starry night,
Obsidian and eternal, beyond all meagre thought.

We are naked before the universe, we are free,
Tear out the tiles, clear the path for the trees, we are free.

Steal not the fruits of our harvests, they are free to all who ask,
To give in return, there will be no shame.

We are one, she cries under blessed sowings,
We fell together on this golden Earth in a celebration of life.

The coal stopped burning long ago, our fathers' wax long dripped away
Over drawing desks of selfish design.

Our cooling Earth welcomes the coming peace,
Another victim of the demise of our past.

Raise a monument, a reminder that we never return there,
To the wars, the hatred, the fear, the greed and sadness...

We are alive

Mark

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