Phil Charters (11/05/1958 / Australia)
Beautiful, Tragic, Runnymede
Softly: Softly: morning creeps, o’er a
A pall of mist, the air is crisp;
A sign says ‘Runnymede.’
Conjured, from the mist surreal, gallows
Dappled light, an oxen cart,
Trampled luscious grass.
Gathered Barons, an English King, fealty
on the breeze;
A royal hand, a royal seal,
Put now to a deed;
And centuries seven tainted, by peoples,
Historic turns, a warp in time,
A king from ages past,
A royal seal erased, a charta, set to flame;
Restored a Kingly character;
The future to redeem.
Heave, hove, the oxen cart; rumbles
A sombre human load;
Behold a gibbet, be in their eyes
O beautiful, beautiful meadow;
O tragic Runnymede.
A voice ersatz, speaks through no-ones lips:
“Delete now, yes or no? ”
Replies a voice, “affirmative”
“Be done with this thing here” says
“Now deleting, ” A spoken voice;
A voice that has no person.
Softly, softly, belts conveyance drive, no
hand upon the pike,
Rhythmic age, computers, wretched
Toward the scaffolds deathly call, the
noose be in their sight;
Damned, by God, those libertine:
Nay! By the strong historic tide.
Shouts the King, from ages past,
“Profound the moment this; ”
Hugs America’s C.E.O.
And vanishes in the mist.
Upon the grizzly platform first,
comes females office dress;
Next in line, are overalls,
Factory work no less.
Then condemned, amongst the damned,
the storemans coat of blue;
Checkout chicks and tellers,
Yes, every workers hue.
Now upon the platform, a young lass comes
Dressed is she, in students garb;
Her father cannot pay;
So here among the rest, society, is done with her
“Your souls! Your souls!
I’m here to save.”
Shouts a man in priestly dress. Before
the wretched stands;
He checks his notebook screen.
“Your names are here, not seen.”
No moneys, given to my church! Indeed your
souls are damned.
Silent, turns the gibbet arm,
A noose around each neck;
Ones civil rights to strangle, a social
throat to stretch.
Gathered Barons, solemn mood;
A legacy, theirs, now lies,
At rest within a casket, at rest,
“Deletion now complete, relieved is
All is automatic;
No need for democratic.
“Repaired this day, are centuries seven, ”
says America’s C.E.O,
Kings of commerce rule,
It always should be so.
O liberty! O liberty! Executed: on gallows
This place where you were born;
O beautiful, beautiful, meadow;
O tragic Runnymede
Comments about this poem (Beautiful, Tragic, Runnymede by Phil Charters )
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