A Tale From The Nursery

In the valley of the idiots

where a half-wit was King,

it was ordered coal-scuttles to be worn

on peoples’ heads when out in public

to prevent them seeing

things as they really are;

The whistling of merry tunes

was also prohibited,

lest joy was spread unannounced

and took others by surprise

who in turn might smile involuntarily

and so give rise to mirth,

and cause questions to be asked

about the edict on the wearing of coal-scuttles.

Author’s Footnote:

This is a companion piece to “The Ban on Straw”.

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The Man In The High Tower

Among all the tall towers

there is a man in the

highest tower of all;

a man alone

surveying all that is his,

and most of what he sees

among all the tall towers,

is his;

Orders,commands,purpose,vision

and power flow from this pinnacle,

this apogee of authority

down,down into the

favellas, barrios, ghettoes,

shanty towns and slums,

to those who hear his voice

relayed by officials, underlings,

acolytes and the vast panoply

of enforcement;

Even from among all the tall towers

they gaze up at

the highest tower of all

and imagine in there

a man alone;

an old man

all alone

and

dying

of Cancer.

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Corpse & The Duke

The carriage alighted outside

his well-appointed townhouse,

whereupon the elegantly attired

Duc de Charlatan stepped forth

jauntily as the carriage door opened;

Yet within the blink of an eye

his aristocratic frame froze,

as if struck by some sudden palsy,

Awash with incredulity

the Duke’s visage barely managed

to utter the refrain,

” I say,you there fellow! be about

your business or else!”

his carved italianate walking stick

pointing accusingly at the object of his ire,

a person prostrate on the ground,

their frame interjected geometrically

twixt the carriage’s door and the front

door to the Duc de Charlatan’s habitation;

Two footmen were despatched with

immediate haste to confront what

seemed to be layers of still-bound

ragged cloth,

” Be on your way or we shall summon

the Constable!”

The directness of their invective

whilst assuaging his excellency’s ire,

had little effect on the person

remaining prostrate on the footpath;

” Why don’t you move silly fellow ?

before I tread on you!” exclaimed the Duke,

Having ascertained the scene for a while,

the Footmen were prompted,

by conscience perhaps,

to inform his excellency

that the person on the ground

was in fact deceased;

” Such churlish effrontery to persons

of higher standing, incommoding one’s

carefully planned morning!”

extemporised the Duke,

to which a passing neighbour nodded sagely,

as they stepped over the cadaver.

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Fin de Siecle

Trailing in the wake of Lions,

Hyenas come to feast on the carcass

of someone else’s name;

Shattered windows,

Burned out cars,

Looted Stores,

Toppled statues;

Triumphant Vandal hordes

breaking the gates of Rome,

trampling its glories,

defecating on Temple steps;

Anarchy like lava

spewing from a volcano’s maw

shrouding the days

in its ashen nights

and its silence drowning our screams.

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Moth & Mirror

When a moth alights

on the mirror’s surface

what does the moth see?

What does the mirror see

when we see a moth alight

on its surface?

Does the mirror see us as well?

standing in the hallway

staring at a moth on its surface;

The mirror gazes at us

craving reflections,

offering a void.

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JAWZ

Silent,

subtle,

sleek;

Dead eyes that are no longer

watching,

Dead eyes that see everything;

Sleek,subtle,

Dead eyes like unblinking semaphores

no longer sending messages

expecting none in return;

Sleek,

Dead eyes forever searching;

subtle,

Dead eyes turn their gaze;

Sleek,subtle,

toward Amity Island,

Silent..

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Void

On a day of

no particular significance,

where nothing especially

happened,

no report was made

no notes were taken,

nor behaviour observed;

the absence of animation

accumulated

throughout the day,

leaving public spaces uninhabited

the flora and fauna

undisturbed and unmolested;

Absence this your sting,

Emptiness this is your victory.

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Little Richard

” A wop-boppa-loop-bop..”,

Cutting sharp

like a razor thro’ old silk,

your timbre broke

a thousand taboos

set racing a million heartbeats

beating along with,

your three minute records,

you were vinyl;

Long Tall Sally

lighting up the ether

like the fourth of July,

Tutti Frutti painting gaudy colors

on a monochrome radio dial;

you were engine of the sock-hop ball,

you were Rock

and Roll,

” a-wop-bam-boom!”

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Potato & The Duke

“I don’t recognise that potato!

what is it doing here?”

enquired the perfumed Duc de Charlatan

with ineffable aristocratic mien;

To disturb the quotidian equilibrium

of this pastoral mise-en-scene

with the inclusion of an errant vegetable,

was in the Duc de Charlatan’s estimation

an inexcusable faux-pas traducing

countless centuries of natural order

and its attendant requisite deference;

To impugn the ethereal harmony

of form,subject and proportion

in such a profane manner according,

that is,to his Excellency,

necessitates the perpetrator of this act

once apprehended be subject to

the full penalties that the Law allows,

which the Duc de Charlatan opined,

requires,

“Death!”.

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Locomotive Breath

The rumble of passing trains,

going where they’ve always gone

at times we knew

and could set our watches by,

their metronomic clatter,

their iron rail rhythm

remorselessly bending nature

to their will;

Pressing on through the seasons

the rumble of passing trains;

Unfolding the countryside at

which passengers are staring,

watching and waiting

for their destinations to arrive,

as if by magic,

outside of their carriage windows,

Oblivious to the locomotive’s

kinetic brutality beating down

the miles as houses roll past

like a tracking shot in a film,

where the footage repeats in loops

and in time-less labyrinths

of their own purpose and making

and unmaking and remaking,

till the metal leviathan

heaves its last breath

and sighs contentedly,

at ease,

on time,

at the platform,

where no-one disembarks.

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