passing stranger

Rookie (23 3 1941 / Birmingham)

Passing Strangers - Poem by passing stranger

This is the greener grass
seen from closer
To the bridgeless water
Words age and eddy here
In all the measures of meaning
Then dry themselves for the wind
And down by the riverside
Details hang on the eyes then flow
In fits and channels made long ago

All the things that send us here
Row upon ragged row
Unravel, unravel us
And release us
Into feeble sands beneath
The green strands bent in the hard breeze
And the blackness that’s here
Where we dare to stand
As if the choice was ours
Cracks a painless smile
In the cornered face
For the ancient foe
As we sneak a glance back
At the other side
And choke...

We should have known
Salvation is neutral
The compass of good was our best excuse
For pointless pride -
The beasts of the field can’t fall
They never wore
The blinkers of learning
Streetwise kids already knew
Nothing has been broken

And yet we killed millions
Murdered them in The Somme
Gored them in the glens
Burned the living in silent lines
For monstrous reasons we dreamed
Were roads to some kind of freedom
And we followed
And still we’re falling
Face down in the puss
Of pecking order urges
Fig leaf hopes
And daring ideals
Just in time to see in full
this moment and this place

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 23, 2010

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