Wednesday, 9 November 2016



In this land, the carrion crow is king
ennobled by  silence.

The poet sleeps in its jail-bright eye,
guardian of all we have lost.

Fledglings hatch from its coffin beak,
rise and flock, a blight of black wings
blocking light ,
infallible sons of  dead oration.
Bolts of iron entrails fly,
the rust and rasp of pinions droning,
until they rudder down, seek  what is left.
Princes of predation.

The moon blows back into sleep,
the butcher hooks his meat,
an army marches on, our faces on its boots,
love hides in cupboards,
dowries turn to dust,
the skull of state squats in our palms.
Tongues and eyes and bullet mouths
settle in our walls.
We are mute, mislaid,  turned to  shills,
clipped and flattened,
ankles soaked in blood.
We read books once.

A flimsy priest in a parrot cage,
cites scriptures from a branding iron.
Submission is a pot lid screwed.
Truth turns to treason, breath to blasphemy.
We trade our ears for worms.

Some of us run, fugitives in ancient woods,
holding nothing but our hands. 
This is where heaven fell and cracked.
We climb our bones, ladders to a throne of twigs.
The journey aches upon our backs.
We are the ripening dead, raking oblivion,
mutinous gatherings like  grubs fattening.

The bird-god unfolds, caws, ascends,
hoods the city with its wings. 
turns on the edge of flight,
perches on its parliament
of twittering barbs. They bow:
All hail our malignant messiah 
chewing on the backbone of a mouse.

We stare back at razed cities, ghostless.
They will rise again, but we will not.
Our hearts are rubbled,  flocks poisoned,
threads of geneology slashed.
Who is left to unpick the talons, 
reveal  the new wilderness roaming the ruins? 

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