Saturday, February 12, 2011

Standing Out

As we rejoice in the great victory of the Egyptian people, we should remember that across the world, thousands are still held by torturers. The gas mask - with a tap to close off air - is used as an alternative to the waterboard to create asphyxia.

Standing Out
(for heroes of the continuing Resistance)

Sheets and shards of colour
bleed from the dying sun
but they are lost to us,

as we are lost, and far from home.
The way has gone, each step
a foot placed into the unknown,

a stumble on hard rock.
Darkness has closed in
a gas mask with no air

stinking of vomit and black fear.
That simple threat :
Say what you know, or die.
Closed off from ever present air
held back by the infinity
of thin black rubber and a deadly will,

so dark now, waves of black
throb with each desperate heartbeat,
each chill with fear, so far from home

no breath, nothing to see.
Speak. Say to him what he wants.
Courage has brought you here,

there’s nothing more to prove,
and look, above the rocky,
the bruising weight of earth

there on that faint line
where the sun lay down
the evening star stands still,

and look too, one by one
first with great names,
Sirius, Arcturus, Aldebaran

and in their patterns
known, half known, half lost,
the Bear, the Lion, the Dragon,

Winged Horse, the Giant
 with his club, and then,
in a firework crackle

stretched  across the magnificence
of space            brilliant
outstanding,  immovable, faint

standing visible against the black,
because of  darkness
the universal lights stand out

their shout - being and energy,
their song – soft, low,
inaudible yet sweet their music

promising that darkness is
a temporary loss of that which
                all being.

(c) Richard Lawson
Lancaster April 10 2005

No comments: