For Chagall

 

First there were witch-spread rumours of rain

But the long dry draft-drought season suffocated hope

With implacable anaconda-authority’s inexorable ambush certainty.

Mists and histories damped the Spanish moss with lies of dew

An’, breathin’ in your East Side words,

I am twice-stung and damned by those who would, in plain sight,

Kill justice; Denying that fought-for-years-ago oxygen fix of transparency.

While the businessman bully-crow skulks and squawks is venom in

Underground white house towers and no-cause cowards, behind the noble,

Take what was never theirs (Just because they can).

That same old conquistador wind stirs yesterday’s virus words,

Poison papers, embers and echoes of songs about cane on the Brazos .

 

And when I needed a prophet, a word, a dance, a beer

When I needed comfort, the truth, an ear …

 

… And I – no longer supposed to take the knee –

Am struggling for tomorrow’s freedom-air.

Every Man

Two and a half days

Pushin’ bare earth ‘n’

Cold blood ‘n’

Iron bones around.

Send me the word,

Oh send me the word:

The one that means

Slaves can have honour,

The one that’s carried

By the northern star

And passed on by

A man named for colour,

A man named for royalty.

Every man headed for freedom

When the word gets here.

Buds of Wings

Before the Devil finds out

She is missing –

She can be free, be here;

Looking for a song to wear:

Hair like a mithril waterfall

Under a full snow moon.

There’s hard ground to be broken,

Cold season to battle,

Seeds to be drilled.

The strongest will floursih,

She promises, in

The spaces between rocks …

And if our love be real enough

Strong, limit-beating  wings will grow,

Where now there be only buds.

If the liberty bell blues and our chorus

Soar with heart, compassion and courage

She will be free, free  from the Satan-burn chains –

At least until the song – and

Our memory of it – fades.

1/3/2013