Categories
Poetry

Scorched Earth

So, how’s your year been?
He wandered past like he’d appeared from a dream.
She narrowed her eyes and fixed him with a look he couldn’t quite place.
Were there highs and lows?
Silence.
Were there joys and sorrows?
He waves overhead where a quarrel of sparrows soar and swerve.
Perhaps you saw great sights of great wonder.
Perhaps, she spits.

I’ve watched epic tales of chaos and disaster,
Endlessly on screens and through glass,
To disappear and reappear – in new threats
Ignored, downplayed and lied away.
I’ve seen the predicted come to fruition, just as they said.
Just as they said –
Like it were newsworthy.
I’ve seen them ignore Death – when it stands scythe ready –
in their eyeline.
But it rarely cuts down the self-serving.
I’ve seen the real world – behind the mask.

I’m not gonna bang my pots and pans at my doorstep.
Not that I ever did.
I’m not gonna take a fixed walk down a dark path.
Not that I ever did.
I’m going to sink to my knees
and scream.

They say how’s your year been?
Were there highs and lows?
Were there joys and sorrows?
Can you line it up in neat little checklists?
Did you bake, make, consume, achieve?
Are there improvements that can be made? Fine-tuning for the year to come.
They want joy when all I’ve got is a Glasgow-smile.
All I can say is I survived.
I held out till the finish line – only to learn there was more to bear.

Was there patience and despair?
And fear and fear and fear and…

Are your synapses fried?

Might you burn down a green field just to see the dust-cloud rise; the smoke.
Just for the distraction of the all-consuming destruction.
Watching that clean break from choking reality sanitizing everything.
The roaring fire – so close – so easily spread
Across thresholds.

I’m not gonna bang my pots and pans on my doorstep.
Not that I ever did.
I’m not gonna take a fixed walk down a dark path.
Not that I ever did.

Provided I have a voice,
left that can draw a breath,
that’s not bereft or ,
washed away like pebbles to sea.

I’m going to sink to my knees and scream.
I’m gonna howl into the motherfucking wind.
That’s how my year’s been.

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