Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Spite of Christmas Present

Part 1

“God bless us every one”
said Tiny Tim.
Scrooge begged,
“Spirit, don’t let his place be empty”
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.

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

and now 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 now we know the babe of Bethlehem
raises a wail
that sounds to us like sirens,
sounds like the screech of Bedlam.

And now professors sing,
“We cast out demons in your name,
They came to rest in us.
We did not know.
Forgive our trespasses
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.”

Part 2

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 say.

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 a soon 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 chemistry
is married with stupidity and hate?

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

a sharp machete blade.

(c) Richard Lawson
Bristol Park Street

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