Mine Eyes

Sing forth the treasons,
the seasons have been sung
long before revolting – D minored
the winter, G majored the spring…
Beh, the seasons never heard
these grovelling breaths,
but sucked them deaf up.

Give lung to the unbreathed
rumors squat below the bridge,
these tumors unskinned,
revealed pulsing on our red,
white – blue tunneled drums –
these cancers defiling the myth of us.

The fall does not applaud
the clapping of leaves, but
strips us to bone, and the
blown away come to us cardboard,
cornered in the cold sun, unsung –
mocked the radio comfort of disdain.

Our own unmaking, unmasked
and riven with lies – lies and all lies
reinforced with steel and striped beams,
stiff on a pole, snapping as whips
on a cotton bent back – crowed
as every patriot hymn
fades in a grumble.

Such joyful music this treason,
this treason not treason,
this discomfiting strained ensemble
sparing neither breath nor ear
the true screech of anthems –
beat, immobile chords,
chained and ghetto thirds,
cast-off tritones, contrapuntal,
scraped on gut and strung up,
and over the laminate woods of us.

Image: Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

2 Thoughts

  1. Hi Devon, I have been sitting here in the quiet and dark this evening thinking about treason (not committing it)…moments before I read your poem I was thinking about my country’s history and how at this time of year we celebrate the scuppering of the Gunpowder Plot on 5 November 1605. How all these centuries later we burn effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires, Guy Fawkes who wished to destroy our Parliament and Kill a King…primarily to enable England to align itself to The Holy Roman Empire. These divisions so deeply engrained in us some of our hatreds go unquestioned. Today many people would happily burn down our current Parliament for different reasons, mostly though due to the fact that it no longer seems to serve its people. Ah, it’s a difficult and complex subject. Your poem made me feel like a betrayed soldier who might identify as a rebel, so many undertones of betrayal in your poem which resound so noisily in my mind especially at this time of year in the UK when we remember our war dead. I am disgusted every annually by the way in which the State claims Remembrance as its own…when it is not, Remembrance belongs to the dead and those who sacrificed the most..the banners, flags and drums make me want to vomit…I say this every year and every year the drums get fucking louder in my head. This is not a good time of year for me and your poem sums up why…I want to sleep until December, until its all a distant retreating noise. PS, I dropped in on WoL earlier and am insulted by some of the lame Poppy poems churned out by the same inauthentic morons every year…The true war poets would spit on those fools.

    1. Hello David, thank you for commenting. I wholeheartedly agree with you. As you know, I am not a veteran but I think the honorable thing to do, at least here, where everyday someone is shoving a flag in my face spouting off about patriotism, whether on a T-shirt or emblazoned on their car, ignoring, consciously I think, the very nastiness that is part and parcel to creation and development of the United States, would be to take the flags to half-mast and everyone remain silent. But everyone seems to be gearing up for a party. To many – to most – Veteran’s Day is day off work. So that’s what we glean from it, all those lives for eight hours of laborfree wages. I know I am ranting, but what, in particular caused this poem was that I came upon a poetry “contest” on the theme “Remembrance Day”. Completely callous and indicative of just how vapid and unthinking we – the civilian population can be. Hope you are well. December will come soon enough. All the best.


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