17 April 2009

The Killing Mood And The Killing Season(poem)

Yet more material prompted by the current malaise that I see on-line, and my own reactions to it.

The sun shines,/

the wind blows,/

and leaves tremble on branches./

These have gone on long before/

we small, poor things began struggling/

underneath them./

Stars, formed long before we came to be,/

send their light outwards to worlds we shall ne'er see,/

and have burnt out, long before what we assume to be/

eternal, solid and ever-lasting, was even an idea./

Kingdoms, republics, constitutions,/

markets, churches, and art/

have come, gone, been revived and faded out,/

over and over again./

Faded out, driven out or burnt out/

because of the killing moods in the minds of men/

made manifest in the killing seasons./

We are filled up,/

and fill ourselves up with/

all manner of notions/

about how the world has been,/

and should be./

It's something we all do,/

for we all have our view-points,/

and only the dead are truly neutral./

It's understandable,/

for we all have our own lives and struggles,/

some better, some worse, than others./

But, it's unforgiveable,/

when we ball up fists, pick up weapons,/

and go forth, like so many Christian, Muslim, Jewish or other soldiers,/

marching, not as to war, but war itself./

It's criminal when, in the name of our god, gods, constitutions or creeds,/

we loot, burn, rape and kill./

It's stupidity itself,/

when we lie to ourselves and others,/

in saying that all is justified and sanctioned,/

even if by the ancient and mere excuse,/

"They had it comin', for being on the wrong side,

wrong place, wrong time, wrong colour,/

when men fell into the killing mood,/

and the killng season began./

If they had it comin',/

so do we all./

For self-sorrow, dis-satifisfaction,/

jealousy, envy and hatred can consume us all,/

if we let them./

Loneliness, frustration and bitterness/

can make the best into beasts,/

and the bestial into far worse./

If we let them./

When we do,/

we've got it comin',/

just as they do,/

and revenge takes its course,/

the bells and gongs sound again,/

'cos of another killing mood,/

another killing season./

Some say that's the cost of freedom,/

and that some principles matter more than life itself./

Maybe so, but they who say such things/

have either never suffered loss at the hands/

of those gripped by a killing mood in the killing season,/

or have grown callous and stupefied by their loss./

It's so easy and cheap to run one's mouth,/

in one's living room, bed-room or bar-room,/

and call for the deaths of others, who one neither knows nor cares about./

It's much harder and dearer to actually do,/

in the killing mood, in the killing season./

Fine speeches,/

full of wonderous, or maybe just ordinary,/

oratory, at funerals and ceremonies,/

are made over bags of dead meat,/

whether freshly-killed or long since dead./

The causes for which they died were always fair and just,/

the deeds they performed heroic, and the dead immortal./

But, this ignores that the causes may have been dubious,/

the dead, when alive, mixes of fairness and failibility, same as anyone else,/

and that the dead are dead and gone, never to return in the state known in life./

Bodies change and transmute,/

shedding flesh and muscle,/

bone and marrow,/

until they become something else entirely./

Don't expect to see them,/

as they were,/

ever again./

Too much damage has been done,/

and too much time passed,/

to un-do the deeds made by men/

gripped by the killing mood/

in the killing season./

Words comfort the living,/

but do nothing for the dead./

Words are for the living,/

not the dead,/

for only the living need comfort,/

however small and dubious./

The dead are beyond such cares and considerations./

The sun rises and sets,/

as our sphere turns 'round it./

The wind gusts and settles,/

and gusts again, as the patterns dictate./

The leaves sprout, flourish, tremble, fade and die,/

and new ones sprout again, as the seasons change./

They go on, and shall until it's their turn to fade and die./

They don't see, hear, think nor feel about/

the stupidites, follies and crimes/

of men gripped by the killng mood in the killing season./

Only men can do those./

Only we poor, stumbling creatures,/

under leaves, wind and sun./

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