anyway, the blossoms.

first light
frost cold and unseen
first blossom unfurls almond branch
in palest pink –
crystalline translucence singing
soft praise to quiet winter sun
and the turning of the year.

some mornings you wake to find
the apocalypse is on your doorstep
(even though the country is big
and your doorstep is 1000km away)

and who unleashed the four fucking horsemen
who summoned their conquest, disease and war
and who even knows what the fourth one was –
death? death was with us all along –
holy as the night
returning our bodies
to the body of the earth
holy holy as the night.
perhaps we should ask the horses
if they were willing to ride into war.

and the looters defaced
chapel and temple,
the sanctum of the pious
and the worthy,
scattering the shattered glass
on the marble walkways of the righteous.
because the world will end
when you defile our malls –
take what you cannot afford –
what this economy
has deemed you
unworthy of.

and when the smoke cleared
and the plastic packaging
tumbled lonely ghost
in the semi dark of destruction
and the bodies were found –
trampled and crushed,
burned and shot
in the fervour of desperation.

when the smoke cleared
and the bodies were found
lost – sacrificed
to the cold gods of capitalism
who rewards the devout
and the privileged
with the blood of the living,
the sweat and small joys
of those they deemed
unworthy.
and we counted the damage in rands.

when the smoke cleared,
the bodies were buried
in the name of the father
and of the son and of the
holy ghost of every woman
burned, trampled and stepped on
in the bloody march of christianity
and its prodigal son capitalism,
who turned the sacred earth to dirt
and renamed the living as resources.

first light
frost cold and unseen
first blossom unfurls almond branch
in palest pink –
crystalline translucence singing
soft praise to quiet winter sun
and the turning of the year.

some mornings you wake
to find the world has turned
irrevocably changed
while birds sing the day.

first blossom

For Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge: A poetry that does not compromise. ( The Anthropocene Hymnal)

https://earthweal.com/2021/07/19/a-poetry-that-does-not-compromise-the-anthropocene-hymnal/

20 thoughts on “anyway, the blossoms.

  1. Wow! This poem is brilliant. It says it all. “Some mornings you wake to find the apocalypse is on your doorstep.” A fantastic poem. Stellar.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Troubled times in your country, but I believe the apocalypse is on all of our doorsteps – no one knows what form it will take next, or where and how it will strike. I love this observation:

    ‘in the bloody march of christianity
    and its prodigal son capitalism,
    who turned the sacred earth to dirt
    and renamed the living as resources.’

    What would Christ make of the unholy marriage of Christianity and capitalism? And how did we just accept being rebranded as ‘human resources’ without any kind of protest? What is wrong with us – cogs in the corporate machine?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The wave of looting in South Africa is astonishing — 161 shopping centers in a few days? Pandemic and economic uncertainty is becoming a powder keg wherever you look. And yet gaze in the foreground and nature is giddily beautiful … How does a poem hold such differences together? Rilke had a line early in his career which went, stretch yourself as wide as possible between two contradictions, because the god wants to know herself within you. Very difficult work for a poet and her poem, for sure. How can we live in both worlds? Great sizing of that here. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brendan. Tinder and powder keg indeed – terrifying how quickly things fell apart in affected areas. And there is obviously much more political nuance and complexity to the situation that what I touch on here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our job is to write the insides of history, scry the guts, sing the fumes. Balancing that with flowers is a highwire none of us will master. I find so much going on these days so perplexing and anxious the temptation is not to write of them, stick to the vale. But the fires keep burning closer.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a such a powerful blend of realism and Christian imagery and Christian language (and/or Christian argot, bromides). For me, it’s everything a poem should be.
    JIM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback – always a fine line between saying what needs to be said and being outright offensive. Was concerned i had crossed the line with this one so I really appreciate the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. the cold gods of capitalism
    who rewards the devout
    and the privileged
    with the blood of the living,
    –this is the crux, right here. If we are unwilling to embrace a new economic model based on taking care of all, both human and non-human, we are doomed. Our blood will be mixed with the fires and the floods, and no amount of money will save anyone. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your use of repetition is brilliant. It just piles up and up, with that core message – somehow we let money become more important than anything else. I read somewhere that only two things are defined by unstoppable growth – capitalism and cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

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