The Feud

The Feud

How could they let that happen?
How could they let that be?
I thought as a schoolboy
when I studied history.

How could such men be leaders?
Why did they want a war?
I thought when I grew up
I would understand it more.

How could such acts have happened?
How could such facts be true?
Now I am much older
I fear a dawn dry of dew.

What is this thing called power
that some men are after?
And why because of them
the multitudes must suffer?

Why can’t we break this pattern?
Why must it still go on?
Will this way only end
when our time has come and gone?

The king was in his castle.
The drawbridge lowered down
The rebel knight rode in
and slew him to wear his crown.

The barons began to feud.
They battled for the throne.
No one was the victor.
In bare fields dark seeds were sown.

One side against the other.
The war will not conclude.
They besmirched the treaty.
They will not forget the feud.


The Life Of A Bird

The Life Of A Bird

The life of a bird is not brief, not to a bird.
To a bird a day is a week, a week a decade,
from egg to oblivion, centuries, even eternity.
Attend to a bird. Note its eyes, clear, alert, alive.
Imagine being that quick, that present each moment
with no fog on the brain, yawn in the mouth,
and you will understand, as for a grasshopper on a leaf,
the life of a bird is not brief.
Unlike a human, a bird sees death
but does not know it will die,
and it has the freedom
to perch on the land and wing in the sky.
To a bird a mystic should bow
for a bird knows how to attend to the now.


Broken By Brexit Britain

Broken By Brexit Britain

In the House of Commons in London,
here in B.B.B.B., that is, Broken By Brexit Britain,
some have gone savage, to roar like a lion,
others whine like a kitten.
After the battle of Camlann,
the Round Table was broken,
and Arthur, wounded by Mordred,
to Avalon, Isle of Apples, was taken.
It is said he will return
when Britain needs him most,
but maybe he is merry in his mythic court
with his mugs of mead
and plates of marmalade on toast.
Some who voted Remain
cannot believe so many voted Leave.
Now, after three years of tedium,
since the Referendum,
long gone is the happy medium.
There is only cold, increasing friction,
worse than in dystopian fiction.
Lost is Arthur’s island of Britain,
along with wise words in clear diction.
By Merlyn’s staff, there’s a strain in the song,
a sneer in the laugh.
Britannia herself is dusty with dirt.
To free her from hurt, she requires a good bath.
Startling events pass by, hour by hour,
and she is not even offered a shower.
O Big Ben, when will you chime
beyond this Broken By Brexit Britain time?

The Vanishment of Venice

The Vanishment of Venice

Venice vanished.
Now only water colours
smear the dark blue lagoon,
and in the air, memories of harlequins
and a violin tune.
The attendees at the last masked ball
knew nothing about it,
nothing about it at all.
Newspapers blame global warming,
the melting of icebergs
in Greenland and the arctic waste.
After the fall of the Taj Mahal,
doom merchants say the end is coming
and it’s making haste.

Rain Forest Ramble

Rain Forest Ramble

You hav’nt got the energy,
you hav’nt got the time.
You hav’nt got the wherewithal
to tell a lemon from a lime.
You seem to be the evidence
a snake can live in slime.

Now the mood is agitated.
Who do these lines address?
Single out the one they’re aimed at,
sit in the shadow and confess.
Witness the darkness grow more and more,
the light grow less and less.

There is no end to how bad it can be,
how far you can go down.
The king looked out from a balcony,
and let fall his broken crown.
The tempter had appeared to him,
his face painted like a clown.

They know the world’s divided
so they decide to divide it more.
When hatred has the upper hand
there might as well be war.
Those ships launched in high confidence
are wrecks now on the shore.

These roads and buildings built to last
while we are hardly here.
Certainly, we’re just passing through.
The more we age the more that’s clear.
I’m not sure that this was the way.
Hope I know when I’m near.

The man who rules the Amazon,
the president of Brazil,
has set fire to the rain forest,
and it is burning still,
to clear the way for cattle farms
and timber yards, what works to his will.

He wanted to be president,
he had to gain the vote.
They wanted to cross a river
so he promised them a boat.
Showed them his fist was hard and gnarled
like the horn of a goat.

What you want I will give to you,
he said in his campaign.
He bent his concentration on
the power he could gain.
And all the strength he showed to them
he promised to sustain.

The rain forest is burning still.
The monkeys shriek and choke.
The parrots have nowhere to perch.
The village tribes fear more than smoke.
The dream of the trees is over,
to red fire flames they woke.

Work of Art

Work of Art

Is it lop-sided, a little awry?
Or is the fault in your clouded, critical eye?
Maybe a slight adjustment
will hang the picture right.
The painter caught well his subject,
a street in a city in a hazy brown light.
That tram seems to be empty,
see the way it tilts to one side.
No one waits in the shelter
to step on board for a ride.
Further up, in the distance,
a black cat sits by a market stall.
That tower looks about to topple,
one brick less and it would fall.
It tempts you to pass into the canvas,
walk up the pavement,
see what’s in the shop windows.
Bound to be odd things,
besides your reflection.
Listen to your footsteps
echo down alleys, round corners.
Dare you go on with no real direction?
But, of course, you must.
It is only a painting,
and in art more than life you trust.
You enter a hotel, find a key to your room,
wonder what does it mean.
Sat alone in a cinema,
tears hurt your eyes,
for pictures from your life pass by on the screen.
Then your stomach reminds you that you have a body,
and you walk off to a café.
After coffee and sandwiches, you will feel better,
welling with the warmth of a smile, the light of a laugh.

Far In The Future

Far In The Future

We want to get out there.
We are here to go.
We want to be free of gravity,
so we can ascend, endlessly, float and soar.
Space is our infinite distraction,
helps us to concentrate on peace,
not division and war.
Our hopes are high but not impossible.
The Great Pyramid stands,
proof on the sands of what can be done.
We landed on the moon.
The next step to the stars is Mars,
and there will always be beyond.
Astronauts train in the gymnasium.
Sprays of sapphire light cleanse our vision.
We took off from here.
We will land there.
Below, no juts of rock, the terrain is fairly flat.
We can feel the feet of our craft stable on solid ground.
Where we are is far in the future.
We have yet to name this planet.
Is there anyone out there? Are we alone?
Questions asked from long ago.
Far in the future, the questions are answered.
Now we know.
Always there is to be found,
amid the dust, a glint of pearls.
Always there will be more gates, further stars.

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Author: The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook

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