Thursday, November 19, 2009

Speak Bones

The gleaming bones lie restless in the sea,
picked clean by the hagfish that squirms and sucks
the bloated bag of flesh that still remains
of some lost sailor or would-be immigrant.

The desk light glistens on the worried brow
of the lately deposed man of power
and glints on lenses over rheumy eyes
that flit upon the endless, scheming words.

Heavy jowls ruminate on the meaning,
the mean mouth turned down in a scowl of scorn:
the well-worn phrases burnt into his brain
must be repeated over and again.

The shifty words lie restless in his mind,
disturbed  by the waves of controversy,
rearranging themselves from false to true
by the logic of hatred and despair.

The heavy shoulders heave and shrug away
fearful thoughts as the sweaty hands lay down
a sheaf of papers and some grey reports
that document the plans of covert men.

The desert bones lie piled beneath the sand
in random heaps, some hastily interred
in grieving sheets or boxes roughly hewn,
scrounged from the heaps of military waste.

Too many bones to be accounted for
by Infidels or sparrow counting sheep,
their accusing mines of calcium lie
unrecorded but heavy on his sleep.

The capacious earth receives its tribute
without demur, its countless minions
recycle and reuse war's refuse heaps,
layering its geology with death.

The gold gleams dully on the guilty hand,
as it reaches into the bottom drawer
for the medication that will preserve
a life, honoured only by a hapless wife.

His muscles and his bones strain with the load
as rising from his seat, the ageing toad
leans heavily on the bone handled stick
that keeps him on his feet since he fell sick.

The guns gleam silent in the cabinet,
a well-oiled reminder of his status
and the feathery piles of avian meat
that yearly rained down from the autumn skies.

Slim pickings compared with the hail of flesh
and bones brought down by presidential pens
that signed the secret horde of documents,
sealed for a hundred years in private dens.

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