S.A.D

For a day or two
a warm green taste escapes the diesel fumes,
the heavy air hangs low &
pulls us close
enough to hear electric whispers on
                        the wind
announce the verdant birth of Spring…

then routine returns to smother it all
in bullshit:
            birdsong
becomes just more white noise we all ignore.

Spring soon ends & then, somehow languorous
                                        yet sudden,
sullen evening light of summer
begins again another doomed attempt
at bringing colour into every hour
of each dilating day.

Autumn begins: I hear
violins, a sigh that heaves from
                            everything,
as the light takes on a melancholy
tinge: austere admixture
of fading green & deep orange
as the once-whispering wind
devours the trees.

Now snow falls like dove feathers
laying quiet & still until dawn’s frail purity
breaks beneath our feet,
the mixed-up air already containing
greater darkness, low hanging Sun;
the light still bright but bleached out &
                                        luminescent,
clouds lingering white phosphorus,
as if
the winter sky is a war crime above us.

Every year becomes this:
the flower’s imperceptible blooming,
slowly turning
towards decay;

slow to remember & quick to forget
how the season’s elision
fucks with our head(s).

What Is to Be Done?*

Another year slowly ending,
heavy eyelids
        closing.

The City is freezing.

The City is everything.

No fells to see, just poisonous beasts
with pistol engine organs;
no forest or beach,
        only felled trees
become cardboard boxes to meet
manufactured need.

I’ve seen Lilacs
beneath a cracked & dirty screen,
but the cruelty of April
        means nothing to me
since mixing memory & desire
is now
how Capital
conspires to control us:

Data is Damyatta
        & compassion
died when concrete foundations,
built over the bones of Moloch,
became home.

So wide-awake, or still
stubbornly clinging to sleep,
        we divide
along newly drawn lines:

in a world run by cunts,
the terrifying truth
is that our very existence
makes us all complicit
with a system
        built upon suffering
        & destruction.

The years will violently begin
        & our eyes must
        open again.

The seasons
        have forced our predictions
        to confront us;

now is the time for new values,
now is the time to choose:

        Which side are you on,
                &
        what is to be done?

 

*What Is to Be Done? – Vladimir Lenin

This is how we live now (if you were born after 1984)

Expensive mistakes made to wait
for the cancelled screening of lost futures.

                            Never mind,
just watch the trailer;

sentence brought forward for bad behaviour,
particular particulates chosen
                            for both air & water.

Which method of suicide would you like?

No need for haste,
we have a decade to waste first,
                            & anyway
the decision was already taken
from us.

We just failed to notice.

                ****

Desperate times & desperate measures,
insanity as reflex against insanity;

                            a litany
of clichés & new prescriptions
for yet more medication.

Don't question
the efficacy, or the necessity
or the cause,

just take what you're given & be grateful
someone is pretending to listen.

This is how our problems are solved now…

                ****

Pull out the roots & the flower wont grow,
just like weeds won't;
                            to consider
weeds to be as beautiful as flowers,
is to consider the power of words
to change the world.

To hold contradictory thoughts,
                            is to survive
& thrive, like weeds become flowers.

To speak of flowers is to disappear
into the ideas of others but this
is consistent with the insistence that
                            nothing can be
new until it's too late:

words no longer matter on the page.

Now only screens change the world
& dreams are as useless as a pearl necklace,
draped around the neck.

                ****

Those of us for whom the drugs don't work
are told to focus
                on the small things
& ignore the world dying
all around us.

So:

crouch down to a round, purple flower,
notice the green-tipped wing of a butterfly
upon it.

Reach for the phone as reflex
                to take a photograph,
& watch as

the butterfly
flickers away…