The Swansong of William Theodore Peacock

                                Fire Fall ~ Philip Brent Harris


Stop up my ears and cover my eyes.
Redeem me from the nightly news,
From their blatant, calculated lies.
To the men behind the curtain, pay,
Pay no attention,
So-called leaders, smoke and mirrors,
Sleight of hand, misdirection and distraction.

Shall I evoke the message, style
From an earlier era?
A man, a poet, wordwright exploring,
Exploring self, aging and when
Eyes say goodbye, hello.
Whether we’ll remember, how we’ll know
Which from either, neither?

Shall I give up? Shall I give up?
Shall I sip a draught of hemlock as I sup?

Shall I then bury my head in the sand?
Dig a deep hole with my plastic shovel?
Truth I hold within my hand,
Yet cannot save my hovel.
Heavy hangs my waxing gravid mood tonight,
Birthing fell darkness to steal the light.

Listen! Horsemen four check their tack,
Mount, prepare to ride.
Don’t panic, scream, run in circles.
No hole’s deep enough for you to hide.
Filth-covered, scrape and grovel,
Pray not to be noticed, chosen.
Hope a scrap of bread to find.
Change. Dream the world,
Primordial chaos swirled
Within your scrying glass.

Shall I give up? Shall I give up?
Shall I sip a draught of hemlock as I sup?

Today forgotten today,
Living in yesterday’s rooms.
Wearing my Sunday best from youth
Or jeans rough and ragged, scuffed and soiled,
Which could be anything.
Claim others, to have lived lives aware,
To know where they were, are going,
Down a narrow, winding path, up a stair,
All screaming.
Screaming in speed, destruction,
Dealing this missile launch,
This game, which we call life,

Divided like a deck of cards.
Half-shuffled, loose order to the rest,
Relationships from an earlier contest,
Lost, won or abandoned.
Now, I’ve become my life’s dealer.
The player (I hope) no longer played.
Too aware and too concerned,
Outcome and each trick,
Each fall of cardboard tokens,
Symbols of the world, each
Card and combo examined,
The jeweler’s loupe, the judge’s score.

Hands of childhood, liver spotted,
Play with toys, put away, long and best forgotten.

What games we all play?
Each card snap, the clatter of dice,
Spinning the gun’s chamber,
Courting a final answer.
Round and round she goes;
Where she stops
No one knows.
The carney’s tempting siren song
Seduces us so easily away
From perceived duties, necessities, hardships.

Never mind the choices made and offered;
May I even recognize, remember myself.

Perception rules us all,
Pleasure sought, and pain fled.
Concepts understood, reality disguised.
Pain secret within the sultry voice,
Secreted in the reasoned voice of unreason,
The free lunch,
The deal too good to be true,
An inside straight.
Straight onto thin ice;
Straighten up and fly right,
Fly by night.
Nightly news full of fear,
My own voice I cannot hear.

Once, may I beauty behold,
As the balance of my life unfolds?

Open my ears, my eyes, my mouth,
Send them forth to seek truth.
Gather my breath, my will, my heart.
Striding forth, each step a start,
Each once, a once upon a time,
Choosing the game we’ll play, or version.
Aversion to the moves which fail,
Failing avarice, hatred, bigotry.
Dropping all our weapons, so we may hold,
So boldly, the choices we need.
Courting strategy to make our moves,
Moves which all shall choose.

I have heard death whistling, falling from the sky,
Bombs I imagine falling on thee and me.

Still, past all the mountaintops, I have perceived
The blue-black ocean of space.
The star stuff which planted and will harvest
Us, a hybrid crop of life,
Choking out all others.
Not what blind fate or destiny assumed.
We have come to call the tune.
What weak fortune we seek,
False gold, false gods no matter.
Whatever faith, religion, government,
What army or to what system we subscribe,
Let all the sleepers wake, imbibe.

Imbibe intoxicating hope, ambrosial love,
Ask the distant stars to dance
With ants and atoms a gavotte.
All one, understanding, everything,
Everything we think we are, we’re not.
Let love, the binding universal source
Shred the hair shirts of our bloody reign,
Reign of terror, of willful stupidity.
To calmly sit, discuss our differences,
Differences trumped by our homogeneity,
Accepting what we cannot alter.
No matter what or how strongly
We believe or can conceive,
As we sow, so shall we receive.

Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength,  Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

See more of my creative offerings and opinions at:

Brent Harris Fine Art

Philip Brent Digital Art

Vida Voices

Scriggler TPM

The Extra Mile
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