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2020 – Poems – Waiting for the End of Time

2020 – “Scribblings from a Trip”. These are rather sombre reflections on the increasing disintegration of the natural environment that we see all around us, plus a few random thoughts on other issues. They were written in the space of a couple of months between January and March 2020

Each “scribble” has a note attached about the context or background.

JUDGEMENT DAY WILL COME

I see the fires’s dull dangerous glow
It flickers like the anger in my soul
A burning rage at the failed leaders
The tentacles of grief grasp our hearts
For the destruction of our olive land
Like the wreathes of smoke curling up
Each fire the death of a thousand animals
Murdered on the killing fields of climate
A bloody plain of lies, greed and deceit

Thirty years of our hopes denied
By the grasping men in grey suits
Their souls stained with blood coal
Their pockets lined by fossil bribes.
The rising water and drowning islands
Just small talk for men with no morals
Each meaningless marketing mantra
Every empty slogan, a death warrant

How good does it get for the dead?
Victims of Morrison’s moral vacuum
Everywhere the skeletons of houses
Like some warning of apocalypse
Scar the blackened smoking hills
Each one a mark on someone’s soul
Seared by an uncaring Government

In the graveyards the families gather
To farewell the needlessly dead
Murdered by the Captains of industry
Condemned by Murdoch’s mendacity
Abandoned by a cabinet of criminals

In the minds of the bitter people
A vision of the judgement day
When the guilt of the climate criminals
Burdened by the souls of a million dead
Drags them down to a hell of torment
As the flames of a thousand fires
Sears their empty blackened souls
And the screams of burning victims
Asking, for them, the never ending eternity
Promised by their vacuous religions

WRITTEN DURING THE BUSHFIRES OF SUMMER 2019/20 IT REFLECTS MY VIEWS ON THE CRIMINAL CULPABILITY OF OUR POLITICAL LEADERS

THE EVILDOERS

You have poisoned our land with lies
Taking their money and selling our soil
Our beaches swept before your rising seas
The forests laid waste by your mines

The farmlands poisoned by gas wells
Our rivers become ditches of brown
Lifeless channels devoid of great fish
The water sold to friends for a fee

You talk of freedom and of values
But you give us a brave new world
Places of razor wire, damaged souls
Whose hearts blow away on the wind

Hope crushed like refugees on our shore
Smashed in the face of lust for power
Far from the guns from which they fled
Dreams lie broken, scattered on the wire

Your corruption seeps like acid on skin
Burning up the people we wished to be
Eating the very soul of this sacred place
So that the red heart has but a faint beat

Art is pillaged and culture condemned
We are blackened by your casual evil
The fair go lies broken on the ground
Your fires char our people’s birthright

The ghost of the 1940s walks this land
First peoples abandoned, ignored, cheated
Everything you touch sickens like the plague
Greed like gangrene eats our country’s flesh

You speak of the bush but steal its life
A billion dead creatures your legacy
Their dying screams scar our souls
Innocence destroyed by your half truths

You talk of God but worship Mammon
Know the cost of all but value of nothing
You talk of family with serpent tongues
Hypocrisy so thick God would choke

We await the day of final retribution
Where the powerful will meet judgement
Where the deniers and climate criminals
Will burn for their sins in the fires of hell

 A REFLECTION ON THE CULPABILITY OF POLITICAL LEADERS AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS AND/OR INACTION

THE OCEAN’S DEATH

The azure line marks our path
Human lines on the lifeless ocean
Empty horizons in the lifeless sky
Liquid deserts to the eye’s limit

Above in the blue bowl clouds scurry
Witness to the innocents slaughtered
In my minds eye the teeming ocean
A vision of our planet’s recent past

The last albatross has flown to its grave
Just a memory of the ancient mariner
The frenzy of tuna only now a picture
The frigate bird sails the sky no longer

Now we count just the floating plastic
Below the limitless marching waves
The bleached skeleton of a dying reef
The whale turns its accusing eye to us

The agony of the acid polluted seas
Eats the very foundation of all life
When the great seas are lifeless now
And all its living creatures dead

We will look upon the great blue grave
And we will know the cost of our greed
As we walk our lifeless empty planet
And our souls weep for all we have lost

THIS WAS WRITTEN DURING A TRIP BY CARGO TRIP FROM ANTWERP TO CAPE TOWN IN FEBRUARY 2020. I WROTE IT AFTER DISCUSSIONS WITH SOME OF THE CREW WHO REFLECTED ON THE COMPLETE ABSENCE OF ALBATROSS AND FRIGATE BIRDS BOTH OF WHICH WERE ONCE COMMON ON THAT TRIP – AS WELL AS THE REDUCTION IN OTHER SPECIES.

Heart

The stone drops
The circle spreads
The heart is broken

I WATCHED MULTIPLES RIPPLES ON WATER SPREADING FROM A STONE FALLING INTO IT – MULTIPLE CONSEQUENCES OF A SMALL EVENT – MUCH LIKE A HEART CAN BE BROKEN BY ONE SMALL ACTION.

Lament for a lost home

I crossed the dry dusty street
Following behind my feet.
I touched down yesterday
I walked the dry roadway

 

Landing then from overseas
Took the bus past old Ramses
Now living by a six lane highway
Must be his last indignity

It’s been fifteen years this year
Since we last lived and played
When we all were then just children
In this, Pharoah’s city of legend.

 

Passing the old Baron’s Palace
Provides some small passing solace
For broken memories of home.
Of the broken stones of Fayoum

Only the corner flat still stands
Of our precious childish heartlands
Where our games we fought and played
The street where our family stayed.

 

I hear the cidadas frenzy
The wailing of the muezzins plea
The bougainvilleas colour
Smell the rich Cairean odour

I walk down the street where we ran
Crossing the road past the old tram
Standing by the first mango stand
With juice running all down my hand

Past my favourite pastry shop
In the shade where we’d always stop
For a millefeuille each all around
With the teeming street’s raucous sound

Every bit has all gone now
Sent to oblivion somehow
They’ve taken all my memories
Buried the place of my stories

The distant pyramids still stand
In this ancient mystical land
But the place I now can recall
Is just a faded print on a wall

THE RAMPANT DEVELOPMENT AROUND THE WORLD INVOLVES NOT JUST THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT BUT ALSO OF MUCH OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT MANY OF US GREW UP WITH. CAIRO AND, MORE SPECIFICALLY, HELIOPOLIS, WAS MY CHILDHOOD HOME BETWEEN 1960 AND 1965. I VISITED IT AGAIN IN 1980 AND 2013 AND THIS POEM LAMENTS THE DESTRUCTION OF MUCH OF WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS GREAT CITY

Your Love

Your long auburn hair has turned grey
I see the pain in your soft brown eyes
Your soul burns gently behind them

I’m sorry, my love, for all the pain
I treated you so carelessly each day
Pushing you away each painful hour

I did not understand my cruelty
I did not see your bleeding wounds
Arms at length are not arms at all

All you asked was a gently embrace
Some help to soothe the lifelong pain
Something words cannot contain

You gave me your skin, your soul
In return nothing but my hard heart
Cutting you with only lust and logic

Two years of longing cruelly denied
Two years of loving harshly replied
Nothing but rejection and more pain

No apology can soothe the wounds
No penance can bind the damaged soul
Maybe time will heal burning hurt

I wish I could undo the hurtful words
If only I could unmake the hurtful acts
So many years, so many regrets

THERE ARE TIMES IN LIFE WHERE WE CARELESSLY HURT PEOPLE WITHOUT EVEN MEANING TO DO SO. UNTHINKINGLY, UNCARINGLY AND SOMETIMES CRUELLY. IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO UNDERSTAND THAT KEEPING LOVERS AT ARMS LENGTH OSTENSIBLY TO PROTECT THEM FROM SOME FUTURE HURT WAS DOUBLY HURTFUL. THEY ARE NOT ONLY HURT BY THE END OF THE RELATIONSHIP, WHEN IT HAPPENS, BUT ALSO DENIED YEARS OF AFFECTION AND INTIMACY.

 

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