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.