Uncertain times.

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I see only forgotten men

Living in places

With once famous names.

I hear only words

Of tales and deeds

Of days of men and women

Long since forgotten

Long since dead.

 

And in these times of uncertainty

People live surrounded

By purposeless decline

A landscape of waste

And those twisted lines

Of once white shone steel

Polished by the unceasing grind

Of the turning wheel

Now lying hidden by elder.

And gathering the dirt brown stain

Of rust and disuse

Map out the death struggle

Of this dark place

And in this uncertainty people live.

 

Writhing in its decay

Its history ensnares

the withering and hopeless present.

But its people refuse to cry out.

Anger has been replaced

By that silence of regret

That pitiless lament

Of resignation and acceptance.

Some say it is our age

As if we were born in other times

And others days

Or as if this turmoil

And unceasing uncertainty

Was not of our own making.

 

It has taken one hundred years

To silence and to forget

And to carve away with such precision.

One hundred long hard years

To isolate those memories

To purge our dreams

And cut with all the accuracy

Of liquid golden steel

The misery of generations

The torments of our people

Of the years of our childhood

And before.

We can do nothing

We can say nothing

We are not listened to.

 

This is the song of our people

We suffer we suffer

We have cried too much

We have cried too long

And we have become lost.

But do not stir us

For we are dark dogs

We are shadow dogs

We sleep in motionless terror.

Do not speak to our hearts

Of indignities of suffering.

Do not kindle our hatred.

Do not evoke words to spur

Our slumbering emotions.

We sleep we sleep.

 

In Silence

 

That strange silence

When did it first occur?

Were there no witnesses?

Did no one see its coming?

Had it been something gradual?

Something that had begun

Without our knowing.

Or with that abruptness

That quickness of the blade

That cuts and severs

And life without knowing

Without recognising its own going

Seeps silently away.
That strange silence

When did it first occur?

Were our eyes turned away?

Our intelligence caught

By other curious happenings.

Was it that? Simply

A distraction of sorts.

Or was it something

That we secretly welcomed?

And now if there are regrets

It’s too late, much too late.

All that has been is no longer

All that may have been

Is now silent and forgotten.

 

Who will remember?

Or will it become

A few pages here and there

Of names and muttered words?

Some faint remembrances?

That strange vision

Of people blackened

Standing in cobbled streets

Faces turned towards camera

Their eyes watching

Looking but seeing nothing.

And we see nothing of them.

Their world our past

A fleeting glance caught

On the papers gloss

And in this hour I ask

Is that all that remains?

That strange silence.

 

Of words and truth.

 

Like grasses bundled

And withered in storm

We are blown helplessly

And not a word is spoken.

Who sings the authentic song?

Who speaks the words of truth?

Who stands for me and mine?

Who looks at what we see?

Who hears what we hear?

Who breathes the air we breathe?

Who sees what is right and wrong?

Who speaks for me and mine?

Who sings the authentic song?

Where are our heroes and poets now?

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