Ross Mackay

Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through The Ages - Poem by Ross Mackay

Our play is made up of four different stories,
laid in different periods of history,
each with its own set of characters

1914, the Modern Age

Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking

In the embroiled stitching of the dancing halls,
the ragtime piano simmering through the air,
she sees the young couple's secret love affair

Seeing youth drawn to youth, Miss Jenkins realises
that she is no longer a part of the younger world.

She holds her face in her fingers. She's never felt so cold.
"Oh, that blank mirror stare. Is this a devil I see?
No, just a reflection of me."

And in the valley you can hear the black bells ringing
as she watches the meat for bones,
she turns to the shrouds of the wall.
The books of her life fall undone and engrained in
the silk are her memories of ballrooms and waltz,
the Battle of Sedan,
naked, clenched in a dry fist.
No one can see her misshapen eyes as they melt tears.
She falls out,
the piano tinkers on,
and cradled in her hands is the mirror which once held her:
as a child with her mother- the happy faces,
her first love,
her last,
and now the vagrant face darkened by years.
In her pocket lies the clock endlessly ticking,
out of the cradle endlessly rocking.

I watched the fiasco for over an hour.
My youth, spent amongst the willow trees at the end of the garden,
I remember the feathers of the mill,
drifting through the field.
My brother told me they were ghosts
and I still believe him to this day.
In my finest suit,
oh how I'll remember this night.
Won't you toast me?
In the fires of Troy,
I'll make icicles of the world
to be caught up in a Land of Lotus Eaters
and where the people cry at the sun
and where all day,
people hand their children to Moloch.
Toast me,
good friends (I stand with my glass of water)
and I'll promise to return richer
with the love of my people
I will sow the earth with wheat
and reap the earth with gold.
Toast me,
my people,
and I'll promise to never stop at suffering
and ride with every moment whether sadness or joy-
just hoist up my backpack and I'll be gone
twenty years and return triumphant
with mud on my hands,
or silk at my feet.
Toast me once more,
and may back head never fall,
and my courage never fade
in consent as I will not suffer
another year of intolerance.

Toast me.

539 B.C, Ancient Babylon

And when the poor Ophelia - sent her letters - to the castle for the king

her rendered words in torment - of her troubles - with her moral silencing.

I wonder if she kept up - with her loveless - repetition questioning

when the darkest hour - with the flowers - and the trees all folded green

never had forgotten her romantic - all pedantic - fight with him

ever since that day - she did insist - it was a silly one night thing

the court of fair civilians - did declare - that she needed controlling

and so they insisted - a new husband - was the way of relishing

her tangled mess of beauty - needed someone - who could wash away her tears

but since that day of anger - she felt lonely - and her filling soul with fears

she begged him for a partner - suited greater - to her holy worldly needs

a romance for the earth - and for the love - of the people that I meet

The king he did not suffer - when she fell - to hysterics on her knees

her tangled hair she pulled out - and presented - for the wicked king to keep

the king he ordered stones - had her strung up - filthy naked like a pig

her heart it fell to pieces - and it ruptured - when the people all joined in

the people wept with laughter - as the young girl - collapsed with suffering

broken down she crawled - up to the heights - of the tallest tower's peak

there she threw herself - off of the top - and died a saddened mess of grief

Her body there for days - nobody cared - her husband busy like the beast

he was down the market - with his new bride - most content he did say

when they reach an old age - send them off - to the market slave parade

his new wife was a pauper - from the mountains - she had no choice but to stay

when she's feeling lonely - she just looks up - where the young girl passed away

1572 A.D. Paris.

Brown Eyes, make me your goodnight kiss.
This last time, with the flames of life alight,
kiss me now and say goodnight,
a hand which marked so cruel,
the water soup and the morning gruel,
say goodnight and you shall see,
the gates of heaven crossed with keys.

The stars wrapped up in velvet arms,
the silver globe will be wet with tears,
your pale hand will sweep the brooks and rivers,
where the fairies cross and the creatures mix,
the nymph which lives amongst the moss.
All shall weep and bow as you pass
when the Queen of Angels breaths her last.

The tap on your door tells me our time is up.
I'll weep forever after this day
when evil and intolerance roamed.
St Bartholomew's Day in massacre-
Brown Eyes, your world is nearly over.
For you I'd trade away my soul,
for you to live a second longer.

Judea and the Holy Intervention

Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking

Who now has the strength to stand up against the fall of man?
I was there the day they stoned the woman to death
above the images of the dusty street the land's end unfavoured
amongst the pebble people of the shores
their hands wrapped in white linen
white linen
white linen
their hands in white linen
all covered in blood.
And in the dark of the Babylon towers the people rejoiced
the crowning of the king
while the curly-haired girl of the mountains
was lowered into a catacomb fit for a pauper
her body in white linen
white linen
white linen
her body in white linen
all covered in blood
The cowardly king sat in his throne as the people woke to intolerance.
With two crosses marked upon her door
the raging glory in the eyes of war
man and woman killed in hatred
their bodies in white linen
white linen
white linen
their bodies in white linen
all covered in blood
I ask you again,
raise your glasses to me
a toast.
I, son of man,
shall rid the world of intolerance,
once and for all.
I, King of Judea,
shall bring love for ever after.

The people held up their hands in the new light as the King of Judea stepped from the heavens.
Battlefields rang with bells,
with a sweep of clouds the flowers grew on the mud stricken fields
and the soldiers lay down their arms.
1914, Babylon,1572 and Judea stood hand in hand, rob and rag,
the ever increasing light whirred up and down and broke into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The wars all stood still as the armies of heaven appeared in the sky and the fields bloomed green
and those dead were standing as the people cried:
"the war is over! "
"Son of man has ended the war! "
and until the end of time there were celebrations
as the people agreed never to fight and be intolerant again.

And what was left,
once the guns had gone,
was a field of gold,
and Judea's son.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Intolerance by D.W.Griffith. Who would have thought a three hour long epic film made in 1916 would be so wonderful? I took an idea from each story, I'll expand this over time as I think of more for myself.
The formatting for the last part is wrong- I am not happy. I wanted to break the traditional verse structure for each part and as a result of the website's far too basic wordy thing, that can't happen. You'll have to use your imaginations.

Comments about Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through The Ages by Ross Mackay

  • Kasia Fedyk (5/16/2012 11:55:00 AM)

    It's Brilliant! I think your writing is amazing, I am flowing with every word magically, imagination the feeling explodes at one moment and is subsides the next, what a great read! ! Thank you Ross! ! Love and Light! And thank you! :) (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • (5/14/2012 3:14:00 PM)

    Balderdash! The formatting and indenting for the last part is wron I'm afraid. The words are the same, but without my magic touch: ( (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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