The thin line
I walk a thin line that leads past the woods
A dusty path few friends will take
I will emerge from among the leaves
Only, alone, when I need to. Locusts and honey
For the woman in second-hand jeans
The sackcloth and ashes of the 2010’s.
Awkward knowledge comes in instalments
With every new fact I pay with peace of mind.
The clothes I wear, the shoes, leather or oil
Crude is the currency of my innocuous existence.
I strip myself of pleasures until joy unsold rests
On the stack of my debt, a fraction lower.
Force-fed with oil and blood every day
My dearest and I sell our hands and hearts
And hide at night in dreams of another way.
While our souls fly under the canopy,
The machine mindlessly steals our years
We stay put for our boy and our girl.
For their existence we choose to walk this line.
Our dirty hands cherish our replacements
Until they too are sanded by urbanity
To serve as cogs in the march of progress
Towards decline. Were the world an orchard
I would wait for the apple to roll into my palms,
But the trees need shaking, or we die
Destitute, in dishonour. For every step I take
Yet another soul is trampled on. At night
I hear the wailing of the silent suffering
As the unwilling accomplice, maiming love
For the guilt of living on the eve of destruction.
But the rays still caress my cheeks, and as the berries
Ripen outside my door, unaware of winter winds
The blackbird sings a lustful tune of longing
And happily rips a slug to shreds. Every quiver
Of its beak proclaims our noble right
To be alive until we too are subsumed.
The Mother’s face will not answer.
A dark smile of woe and woo hides between the shrubs
Her dazzling smile upon the waters, defiled
By the trawling and choking of her children.
Her scream so long and loud, a cosmic echo
Thumping in the background of my existence.
Yet I live a distant memory of a world
Thousands of turns around the sun ago
When I hear the mother’s daughter’s daughter’s daughter
Sing in the garden of original sin. Let me be considerate
But unburdened. Like the blackbird with his slug
I ask for no more and no less than to see her today.
I walk the thin line that leads into the woods.
I wriggle between guilt and joy, and try to trample
Just what I need to stay alive. To carve a path
Into a luscious dawn, for the dearest of my blood
I carry the light of life and pass it on to all
Who follow in my trail. I guard my line.