Treasure Island

David SmithWhite

(270552 / Australia)

A Rapt Rap (Wrapped)


Do you consider that life is as bitter
as the cold on the darkest day?
Do the white winds of winter burn you and blister,
do they fade all your colours to grey?

Do you feel such a chill, are you constantly ill,
is your world a circle of pain?
Do you doubt you've the will and the strength to fulfill
a release from a peril un-named?

Is your life such a trial that you can't raise a smile;
do you feel that you're used and debased?
Are you only desired when you're bone-weary tired
and sleep is the friend you embrace?

Between the slab of grease on the common bread
and the feet that tread the mill,
the cars run smooth as folded dough
to the gates that ring the hill.

Do you frequently wonder how lives torn asunder
can regather themselves and go on?
Does it strike you like thunder to get out from under,
to be free, independent and strong?

Do you feel cruelly betrayed when your due is delayed
through neglect and bureaucratic red-tape?
Or are you simply afraid that the contracts you made
deny all hope of escape?

Is your capitalist goal the mere whim to control,
how goes your designs and your plans?
Were you paid the full toll when you sold out your soul?
Did you sign with blood on your hands?

Between the chisel on the pristine stone
and the hands that carve with skill;
between the fires of a potters' kiln
and the limbs that guide the wheel.

Are you mesmerized by a thinly disguised
messianic quest for power?
Is the greed highly prized in the gleam of your eyes
a pipe-dream or a deal gone sour?

Do you crave a world order to abolish all borders
and force all hostilities to cease?
Will you remain silent when state-sponsored violence
is the whim of the secret police?

Will you be genuinely puzzled when the press has been muzzled
and jackboots return to the square?
Will a dogged resistance voice your insistence
that tyranny must disappear?

Between the churning fear of the waiting room
and the surgeon that wields the knife,
a dollar turns and a patient finds
a desperate need for life.

Do you wistfully long for a place to belong:
the warmth of the family hearth?
Is your purpose diverted when friends have deserted,
is ambition a lonely path?

Do you know in your heart you must make a start
to escape, to depart, and to go?
If your move isn't smart and you can't live apart,
can you cope and continue to grow?

Do questions beg answers when the grim reaper dances
and social diseases are rife?
Is your fear of the cancers ruining romances
and taking all pleasure from life?

Between the brush of colour on the canvas screen
and the vision that gives it form.
Between the blush and pallor of the cat-walk queen
so poised amidst the storm.

Will you react with aplomb when you learn that the bomb
is to be used in a limited war?
Will a flayed national pride permit genocide,
is mutual destruction assured?

Is it the guilt you abide that wounds you inside
and slashes your ego like a knife?
Is it hard to decide where you safely can hide
from the echoes of chaos and strife?

Do you wish for a future, a new spirit to nurture
the calming culture of peace?
If people could truly create a utopian state
would all their powers increase?

Between the cold release of the safety-catch
and the cartridge that explodes in flesh,
another dollar turns and a suicide finds
some grim relief in death.

Do you lack the resolve and the desire to evolve
into a caring and warm human being?
Will you be absolved from becoming involved,
are you blind to the problems you're seeing?

Are you feeling of late you're a scapegoat to hate,
entrapped in a web of deceit?
Do you abdicate as a victim of fate,
are all your solutions as neat?

If your mind is befuddled and your thinking is muddled
can you communicate,
that life is a troubled series of struggles
that art merely imitates?

Between the dark black words on the printed page,
and the mind that writes, unseen.
Between the frames of the moving film,
and the eye that casts the dreams.

So shall I report that success was hard fought,
sublimely arranged at last?
Or is life just too short to do what you ought,
is the time for change passed?

As questions beg answers, will our actions enhance
the chances that we may survive?
What can demand us to defend all advances,
and affirm the truth of our lives?

So do you consider that life is as bitter
as the cold on the darkest day?
Do the white winds of winter burn you and blister,
do they turn all your colours to grey?

Submitted: Thursday, September 08, 2005

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Comments about this poem (A Rapt Rap (Wrapped) by David SmithWhite )

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  • C. P. Sharma (12/12/2008 8:45:00 PM)

    A forceful poem with fervent appeal for soul searching at all levels of socio-political strata and superb poetic artistry. I have become your fan.
    CP (Report) Reply

  • Malini Kadir (3/23/2008 6:01:00 AM)

    Excellent! Is there a point of pain left untouched?
    Is there a warm heart distressed?
    When you can face it then perhaps so can I
    Well yes...the dismal colours have turned to grey! (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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