Tag Archives: identity

Alien Nation : Alienation

We went into the Valley of Elah

looking for victory and reasons to carry on ,

when we got there those reasons had gone ;

they’d quietly slipped away

leaving us with nothing more to say ;

when we got back

we didn’t recognise ourselves ,

we looked at our faces in the mirror

that only showed someone else ;

all our words too had their meaning changed

for something that we couldn’t understand ,

and we who were born here

became strangers in our own land .

The Stranger, one last time.

There he sat,

in the place where he sat

the last time that we spoke

all those years ago;

And there he sat

as if he’d never left

and the years hadn’t passed us by;

” I’m still waiting for my absinthe that I’ve ordered ” ,

he ventured apropos of nothing,

his deprecating smile lingered

as he brushed some imaginary

cigar ash off the table;

A faint susurration arose

from a Greek Chorus somewhere

in the background of this

mise – en – scene ;

” Years in a desert of empty days,

years in a white nothingness,

Time itself marooned in

a white swirling fog “.

” Waiting..” the Stranger began,

my curiousity piqued,he continued,

” is the worst part of waiting “.

I concurred,which seemed

to set him at his ease,

though he glanced obsessively

at his pocket watch;

” Time flies and having flown

runs out of fuel and crashes

amidst the contretemps and vicissitudes

of our world “.

He once more glanced around for signs

of a waiter with the absinthe which he’d

ordered such a long.long time ago;

but no-one was forthcoming and

overcome by ineluctable disappointment

he rose and bidding me adieu

swept with customary insouciance

from the cafe into the busy boulevard;

as I turned my gaze from the departing stranger,

I saw the waiter arrive with a tray

bearing a singular glass..

**********************

Author’s Footnote:

The reader might care to also read ” A Stranger Returns ” -April 23 2018

and ” Encounter with a Stranger ” -October 3 2017 .

Sci – Fi


twinkle twinkle distant star
how I wonder where you are;

..the Delta-ships stopped,
our transmitters failed
though they had brought our
words back to us as palimpsest,
from long lost millennia ago,
distorted and disfigured
rendered alien
by countless doppler-shifts;
our own broadcasts came back
to haunt us,
to betray the illusion
that we were reaching out
and yet we never were;
leaving us bereft,
we commodified them,
all of our ancestors,
the patina of their vaunted
golden age ages old by now,
were bought and sold
and kept us all so amused,
that was in the time of the
Delta-ships and their last flight;
Somehow the Epsilon-points
became shrouded in mystery,
lacking knowledge
still we search for them,
but the apparatus is gone too,
Magellan without astrolabe
Galileo without plans,
seared into our racial unconscious
we yearn for the path
outward and home for
an end to cosmic labyrinths;
the failed gleaming,
the sputtering glimmer of
candles that burned so bright,
yet for so brief a span;
hierarchies perpetuate themselves,
vaunt their traditions
and call them “ours”
yet “we” no longer remember;
Our own images haunt us
deep deep into the night,
we awaken to the cadence
of our own scream,
we cling to driftwood
in a shipwrecked sea;
the Delta-ships are gone,
tumbled long long ago
into a memory hole,
and where are those
pinpoints of transfiguration?
the Epsilon-points,
that took us,always,
outward and home;
Amid the chaos of ages,
redolent with anguish and fear,
a haunted face peers
into the looking glass
and beholds darkly,
a trembling trembling hand,
in its tenuous grasp
an ancient artefact,
its sleek barrel
caressing his temple.

twinkle,twinkle…

Days of Hope

Smoke-towered horizons burn
into morning over mill-towns,
steel towns,coal towns
shut and shattered,
their shopping malls and terraced
streets gaoled in ambered time,
the busy-ness of their
busy days poised at a
point that once was,
washed over by faint hallelujahs
fading amens from choired congregations,
church and chapel echoing down
dust filled years of better days,
when a nation was catching up
to its future,yesterday’s tomorrow;
the Now that is becoming
chrysalised as not far not yet,
tactiled anticipation of an opening,
gleaming mirrored strand of continuity,
its promise appropriating this space,
this time,this Forever,
becoming real.

Vanishing Point

Far,far away

in some distant place

past some vanishing point

on a horizon pan-caked flat

indivisible from the sky,

here we are

here we wander,

around and around

wondering

how we’ve come to be

here;

newly arrived somehow

at a place beyond

the Vanishing Point

where earth becomes sky

and sky itself,

we see now

even thro’ the glass darkly

all before us

the parallax view.

The Writer Writes

If everything that I write

is everything that I am,

then all the words I’ve written

is all of me;

Words are my flesh,

and stories my breath;

I walk in dreams,

I have been to the mountain top

and have come back down;

And if those words

are all that I’ll ever be,

then those words suffice;

it is written,

it is done,

it is ineluctable,

it is immutable;

I have breathed stories,

and my words became

flesh.

Coffee Table

Giant,

glossy,

glamorous

coffee table magazines,

with those portraiture pictures

that capture those

” just so ” glances,

contemplative

meditative,

with that pristine air

of purposeful confidence,

of a knowing what lies ahead;

and the apparel just so,

the complexion just so,

hair,eyes,nose and teeth just so,

of shop window dummies

playing at being us.

Of Games & Candles

Time is etched like memories

on the membrane some

call fate and others chance;

none there are now to

gainsay the swinging pendulum

that swung so far

yet never returned at the

unstruck hour on the

unremarkable day that

slipped quietly away and

lost itself somewhere in the mist;

others say that carousels have

stopped running rings around the moon;

and when the moment comes that we’ve been waiting for

we’ll discover that in truth he left us far too soon.

 

 

Warriors

Running. Days spent running. Long days running away. Far, far away from that Hill. Senlac.Where Harold Godwinson fell. All that remained of his Housecarls, all that evaded the keen eye and whetted blades of those Normans was here in this rout.

They are seized by fear as they broach the deep autumn green of the forest with the day darkening about them. They trample into the swirling grey and brown. Heaving past trees so gaunt, so erect everywhere flecked with its shadows.

They feel feral eyes lurking, they smell that stench only warhorses make; the tang of their salivary breath as their stalking footsteps are tramping heavily on foliaged ground.

Warriors, masterless curs with their master dead, are breaking, staggering into a run. The run of hearts and minds now fleeing and pounding all at once as if seized by a madness. Their fevers fired by diagonal shafts of sunlight and arrows. Threading and piercing. Whispering their death, clattering and cutting.

Bone bared, sweat-browed fighters are now falling amid the dense. And of all the summers that are to come, those summers no longer are theirs but the forest’s.