It happens, time and time again:
faceless father figure takes over, demonlike,
destroying reason and imagined reality,
throwing fishing hooks in exposed flesh,
pulling, pulling till it bleeds,
never risking remorse, or even recognition,
only force, more force, and faces pulled in mocking
doubt; crooked claw, rheumatic fingers,
pouring sour wine in cups, not glasses,
– never glasses, delicate like melting ice,
frosted over like a tongue, blistered
from talking rubbish just to clear the air –
One always needs to remember
life is not that generous, not that
kind when dishing out its chances,
drizzle shrouds our vanity, spite pales cheeks
and freezes hands; the stalker stalked;
we drift towards the fields of green,
march through the woods of disregard,
ride the plains of thirst and hunger,
like a swagman on the run.
Coffee boiled over driftwood fires
bitter and black as love and dreams long lost.
Forgetfulness is just a gift, like forgiveness is
a treasure, never found when looked for,
no matter how accurate the promised map;
paper always yellowed at the edges;
the dreams close in, father figure luring in the shades,
taking all away; the audacity of his authority
proclaiming easy victory.
Cups are empty, faces drawn, yes
not long now before the first peddler
comes to cash in on our guilt.
The sun is about to rise, first
bulldozers are closing in.
Rain fallen from the beginning of time
turns acid before it wastes away.
The road clear now, mud drying,
even the crickets silenced by the break of day
till that, also, wastes away.
Slamming doors, yelling men,
sound of bare feet on half dry earth.
Boots defying all conditions
making marks on human flesh.
The snapping of wood, caving of roofs and,
after some effort, the roar of flames.
Work done, boots returning to engines,
eyes observing retreat through brush.
Mud turns flaky, baked earth
the color of weat.
The sun burning down now
in full force.
stone by heavy block of stone,
draining the moat till the very last
drop of greygreen water
has evaporated in the lukewarm sun.
Emptying cellars of hardened tar and drums of oil,
find fragments of bones, undetermined,
(could be human, animal or remains of other species),
and a yellowed book of rules (‘thou shalt not’).
On a crumbling wall it is written: ENDURE,
(hard letters, breathing danger; one withdraws)
then vague marks only, followed by a faint
‘will set you free’