Saturday, December 24, 2005

Spite of Christmas Present

The Spite of Christmas

“God bless us every one”
said Tiny Tim
Scrooge begged
“Spirit, let not his place be empty”
And God said,
“Go forth and multiply.”

And the result: his corner of the room
packed out with Tiny Tims
on this and every Christmas
waving their crutches.
Look how their stumps kick out
not weighted down by feet
long since the food of cockroaches and rats.

And how the masters of the blast that
ran away with their mobility
gaze on the symbols of the Nazarene,

and how we know that Odin
was not enclosed
in this or any other tree
to any useful purpose
and is remembered more for thunderbolts
than sacrifice,

and how the babe of Bethlehem
raises a wail
that now sounds more like sirens,
more like the screech of Bedlam.

And how professors sing,
“We cast out demons in your name,
They came to rest in us.
We did not know
forgive our sins
forgive, and give us now this day our daily wad
beseeching thee for alms
that armourers may live to buy the sword and not to die
unto the death
for ever and ever
arm all our men.
Arm men.”

And now we know the meek
will walk the worst of worlds
inheriting a wasted earth
the poor will just die young,
whereas some rich
will splatter on the pavement
underneath their towers
with rasp-brain jelly,
while others will survive
under the bright lights
broadcasting their folly to a world
no longer watching.

The truth will out:
out in the darkness
out of sight and
out of mind
out the damned truth.

And after Babylon has gone
the truth will not survive
not in our brain
not in our hearts or minds
no light, no truth, no righteousness
only a dark oblivion,
or so they think.

Do not look for light
here at this time of year.
We celebrate the death of life
the death of light,
and the demise of truth and consciousness
no love no light no life
except in real rebirth.

No rhythm to our lives
no sun to rise and set
the seasons are all lost to us,
no winter snow
no frost
nature is all held back
all gone.

We’ll lock ourselves into this cell
until the fortresses of our imagination
these temporary notions
come tumbling down

What does it matter
if the broken heart
should pour out grief
not just in salty drops
but in an offering of words
that everyone can recognise
world wide and for all time?

Or that in music
rich formulae
rivers, cascades and
palaces of sound are raised
like forests holding up their arms
for all eternity?

Or that cathedrals could be carved
from carcasses of millions of diatoms
under an ancient sea
hardened in the hold of time
carved in mathematic tracery
and that they fall when physics and chemistry
are married up with hate?

What if the disregarded subtle breath
should fail and fall to crudity?

And that those crazy diamonds
those fragile lumps of flesh
should slowly file
so slowly now, so very slow
into oblivion?

God blast us every one!
a landmine now for every leg
for every brain a bullet
and for the poor, a sharp machete blade.

This is the Christmas gift our efforts give the world.

(c) Richard Lawson
Bristol Park Street

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