And a child said, "What's a millennium for?"
Her tousled hair a shroud of shattered glass
in buildings of brown dust once called home.
We saw her there, shoeless and unsouled
by someone else's appetite for war.
They have no names, their voices shrill champagne,
producing more than we can dispose of,
profiting in the marketplace of time,
from the ruin their ravages obtain,
to reinvest in their needlessness,
their heedless acquisition of the fruits
of our labour, love, unworldliness.

Whoever it was invented time ignored
it's circularity, the endless repetition
we provoke. Unconsciously, the pages
that we turn reject the notion of
diminishment, the book that never ends,
the chapters filled with errors we commit
and recommit, unable to do anything
but repeat, unerringly, the blunders
of the past and, surely, there's no repeal,
no exclusions from this acquiescence
to chains of petty common sense
that pin us down, victims of this war.

Look, see the evidence of collusion,
the slack-jawed acceptance of this fate;
the Pleasure Dome overfilled with cake,
the fanciful millions counting on a win,
who want this or that to so enhance
the days made unacceptable by pap,
a place in the instant fames provided by 
a media mogul always on the make.
The culture of the specious mobile phone,
the phoney conversations that we make,
an anomie of quasi-cultural norms
insisting that we all stump up the cash.

Here is the landscape of those putrid dreams
mad politicians make so much of.
A picture of consensual mistrust
reformulated in a hooligan's fist.
A phobia formed of old bourgeois terror
fearing the loss of property and power.
The hypocrisy of condemnation when
the dispossessed mimic their ruler's lust
for prominence pictured on a tarnished coin.
The notion that the world is always ours.
Here we find this death mask replicated
by the fifty-eight found stifled in a truck.

So let us ask what this millennium
obsession is really, really all about.
Can anyone truly know the answer how
an arbitrary notion by a Roman king
or, maybe, someone sitting on a throne
doing the daily function we require,
came to be adopted in this way,
to justify this image of ourselves
in this ultra-comic cosmic show?
Perhaps the naming of time is a disease
politicians and the rich employ
to bolster up their privilege and power?

Yet this argument is too absurd.
It requires suspension of disbelief
to grasp a fact so obviously at odds
with promoted cultural norms that vaguely cite
Judeo-Christian sages as the source
of wisdoms we've received for countless years,
drummed ceaselessly into our weakened wills.
All religions' touts so mock themselves.
You want to say the clerics should take a chance,
recognise that truth can have no edge,
no end, no absolute, no borders to be crossed,
no arms to reinforce itself, no place.

Where land is, there a people will walk, build,
sow dreams of starlight in their children's cries.
Laughter and grief have ever beset us all.
How much a man needs or a woman needs
is mirrored in their children's eyes, reflections
in the deep pools we drink from, where the sun splits
light, illuminating power, the hate of it.
How much more is there than the sky,
the places where the insects go, oblivious?
Who brought down these dark ominous moons
turned now towards us, teaching us envy
and means to build fences of crazed wire?

Could we have resisted the sea or did it seem
like home, something we love ineffably,
invested with it's ownness, unownable?
Place your hands in pools along the shore
where the tides recede revealing rocks
we slip upon. We have no footing here
nor ground to place our flags among the scuttling
things. Draw your hands toward you, cupped
to capture light, spilling salt as the deep
sound soothes us still, beating like blood
through our wombs, until we fall asleep
like an infant, cradled in it's arms.

By Arthur Richardson

Very part time poem maker. Retired from paid work.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: