The year turned, slowly, in its cycle:
racked a hollow mark on its traverse
from origin towards infinity…
~ as harvest ripened; barley malted,
the living yeast renewed itself
and brewing sang in warming water
~ as negotiators inched and postured,
compromised, on our behalf
while falsehood shifted to us, past us
~ as I turned my back on you, in tears,
coming to face a life alone.
Autumn lowers. Winter follows. Death. Rebirth.
I will find a way, or make one
Rather than persuade
and impose my pride on you,
I would leave, losing
the humility that might
submit to your persuasion
I once hid myself, afraid;
until the heady rush of words was jammed
by a crime against the muse, committed to survive:
the stream of language dammed, damned, damaged in its course
to leave words languishing around my skull, staring from its windows
calling echoes down its aural spirals, striking out their balance –
Words marooned in emptiness…
like fickle acolytes of lost idols, panicking unshackled
or liberated helots pining for some mastery to serve;
like nomads in the tracking chain lacking moral compass
or athletes drained of power then balance, grace and skill
… after the fall … the fall … all
I was unsure – of who I was, of how to live outside my home
and lacking adequate affect, while full of social awkwardness –
so I conformed. The choice was stark but simpler than it seems
in that long ago.
Thus marked, by birth or accident,
I took instruction, even study (to a point),
as my seeming deficit became a fabric of belief
and I self-censored, thickening my carapace
to grow in roles which made denial second nature;
learning how to walk without the hope of wings,
needing to avoid defeat, absent persuasion
in that yesterday.
But of course I wanted to be right, so I admit:
there was collaboration.
I enjoyed the gravity of power that pulled me in its orbit,
compelling me to move eccentrically
until that shook my axles loose, spilling their bearings
as they ground my gears to fragments; falling
beneath those asking, how it was possible to live
without a purpose – or an allegiance to one colour?
Those true believers: defenders of the faith, keepers of the flame,
held hostage to the dogma of their self-defeating doctrines
while tied by their taboos at a bridge too far for reason.
I scorned them even in my weakness –
How much trouble that has caused me!
Sunlight parches us
in beauty without mercy;
rain drifts – a mirage
It craked. Hoarse and raw.
Footloose, on the wing, it looked down at us.
Perched in the roof-line gutter, craking on…
The bird of fortune, named by accident,
rescued by goodwill, nurtured in our den,
drawing down our blackened greed, shimmering…
“You gaaave me what I asked for;
I can see how much is there –
now I want more! More!! Mohre!!! Mohhre!!!!”
How much has fallen?
How much more still stands, intact?
Does the act forget?
Would you not conform
in riches and belonging?
Or have otherness…
Trees grow among rocks
Granite boulders overhang
Lichen covers all
The zealots came – as always –
draped in purity, to press their claims
~ which would erase our nuances,
reduce our subtleties to slates;
as if a blank could live
~ in which the glories of creation
would shrink to conceptual art,
like angelic voices ringing
locked in a crazy head
~ on roads too thin to travel far
as life was redefined, abjured
to strip it clear of heresies