IN MEMORY OF THE RED ARMY CHOIR
White snowberry deep birch wood.Crisp pure white
snow crunches under soldier boot. They sing
Joy wistful angry shouting whispering
Tenor to pierce the soul bass deep as night.
Her brown black sparkle eyes bright as her soul
Or crops that waver endless as the sea
Rich deep black soil grave of each enemy
Each generation and their voices roll
Like rivers through the heart blood workers red
Patriots shed on every inch of ground
Massage our ears that fierce and healing sound
Bayan and balalaika. And they're dead
And singers die and there is still the choir
To say the land's eternal death's a liar
Bleakness and fall. What we hoped built is lost.
They're at the gate to kill us one by one
In line. Remember when we basked in sun
That last good time. The dice gold coin we tossed
Unthinking. Now the sky is overcast
Sleet in our bones. The uniform is thin
Shaved scalps are cold. Your bloodied mouth's a grin
Despise their future. We had such a past
They could not want or know. Yet sing it proud
Make one last perfect music as we die
True joy that shames their misery guilt lie.
Hilarious intricate and bawdy proud
We are the thrush pierces their winter night
First hint green spring in soiled grey slush mud blight.
In white defiant. First she hides the plans
Then fires her gun. Shot left unconscious frail.
Haughty her anger spits. Her skin is pale.
No compromise. Back stiff as any man's.
She was so young then. Tough grace in defeat
Loses her world in flame. And carries on.
In her last movie loses husband son
And can endure. Sighs just for one long beat
Duty is strength. And in this awful year
And awful sequel learn that how we act
On screen in life the most important fact
Smart words good aim and that we persevere
Princess and actress shared more than a face
Wits guts survive. Like her we stand our place.
We choke on air that burns. The towers fall.
Over and over people leap through flame.
There's left no easy death. We threw that game
With broken dice. And we are guilty. All
Of us are guilty. Hopelessness is guilt.
Innocence never an option. We have lived too late.
Ashes and dried out thistles on our plate
Crushed by the fall that brick by brick we built
From plans we traced on water in the dark
Cannot remember. Paper girders tear
Confetti. In our death no justice. Bear witness
For us. We meant no harm. We heard a lark
Sing climb. And leave remembrance of that joy
To weigh against all we watched or helped destroy.
Small teeth that bite lock to the wrist's small bones.
Cannot be shaken off. They cannot break heŕ supple snake strong neck.
All that she was and did they left in wreck
For god and money. All a weasel owns
Hopeless is death and hate and those sharp teeth
To hurt and worry maybe make them bleed
Small triumph but a triumph still indeed
Tear skin to ribbons. Sinews underneath
Chew useless. Palsy hand that's raised to hurt
Hang gnaw. They say it's useless to complain
At least this death will cause a little pain.
They snap her spine and leave her in the dirt.
Eventually. Remembered by her mark
Red carved in flesh she goes into the dark.
AFTER RILKE'S Archaic torso of Apollo
We cannot guess its head god glaring gaze
Apple round ripe carved eyes. But yet the stare
Persists inherent in those pecs. It's there
Glows through stone muscles like the turned down blaze
Arclight could blind. There gentle still it burns
Warm as the sweetness of the sudden smile
That comes with loin thrust, glows continues while
The body shows self glimmers as it turns
Unwhole unshamed remaining still complete
White stone that dazzles sheen as silken skin
God like a star that burns from deep within
Its every inch a friendly face to greet
Admonish you voice echo out of far
Far distant time. Be other than you are
We do not choose our time. It flows around
Fingers run through like sand. We make a wave
That ebbs in seconds. And we try to save
Friends selves sink gently down without a sound
To rot in silt and leave our mark in stone
Negative space is all our love can leave
Perhaps enough. I wish I could believe
We live together friends but die alone
In moments beds a boot heel in the street
Choking our lungs. Perhaps a stroke of hand
Tracing our lips. We do not understand
When fading stops. Last thing. And yet so sweet
Sugar on tongue electric rain on grass.
Small moments bright and then the moments pass.
So much. Browned slightly black the crunch of toast
Spread thick with butter kumquat marmalade
Strong coffee. The sharp smell as it is made.
Potatoes parsnips crisp under a roast.
Squirrels at play. Magpie hops over grass.
A heron elegantly shading grey
At dusk. The sudden shrilling of a jay.
Rooks clustered solemn clergy saying mass.
Your lips on mine. Your hand between my thighs.
Your gentle breathing velvet touch all night.
Pretending you were wrong when you were right.
Decades of laughter crinkle round your eyes.
For love the lives around me tasty food.
No prayers of thanks but simple gratitude.
BABA YAGA IN WASHINGTON
Her house's chicken legs scratch out their brains
Cell at a time. They rattle in their skulls
Like peas. She grinds them and her pestle pulls
Her mortar through their hollows. What remains
But painful slow humiliating stitch
By stitch she stuffs their dessicated skins
Sticks button eyes through squish grape mulch with pins
Their little mollusc dicks a moist red itch
They hear a gently scritch and then a hum
Crescendos like a needle. There is fire
The smell of choking dog dung nostril deep
Even in dreams their fractured boneache sleep
Boys melons cattle whip guilt and desire
A pentup bursting yet will never come.
Wait for the sharpened axe, the silken rope.
Tidy your desk, update and sign your will
Count each sand second. Always knew the bill
Arrives brown envelope. No end to hope
Some cheque is in the mail. That email said
That you'd be paid quite soon. It's what your owed.
And death is riding on Samarra road
His horse will stop and death will nod skull head
And pass the reins. Does pale horse eat ghost straw?
You search the answer google it for hours
Three kittens rolling in a bed of flowers
Time almost up we thought we would get more.
Every last second brings one more last thing.
Perhaps he'll die. Perhaps death's horse will sing.