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If you come too close
on this mad March day
where the blossom flakes into stars
inert on a bed of human compost
if you come too close
my body shrinks away
as sunbeam struggles to ignite
a storm filled sky.
If you come too close I can smell
corruption on your finger tips
I can hear the tremor of children’s screams
from the silence of fallen families
I can watch my hands torn to bleeding cenotaph
ensigns of this uneasy century.
If you came too close
I was too far from here to notice:
riding on a winter wind
watching moon howl in a silent forest
if you came too close
you’d have heard the ground groan
beneath the pounding of the running heels
souls lost in the enigma of swallowing seasons
with only the memory of surviving soldiers
to talk the lies of history round a sputtering fire.
If you came that way
you’d never really see
the tears of unborn children,
the perfection of the tapestry
with its silver threads of lonely heartbeats
shining through, forever shining through
the lichen of extinction.
There’s an imperceptible change in movement, where it seems that the voices of unborn children call out for life. Patterns regurgitate themselves in a myriad of subtleties; from my own terror in a hostile womb I was shocked into an awareness of life’s sanctity. The early days were a struggle for survival and like a sewer rat I learnt all the tricks. Then when you and I accidentally created life, I realised there was no such thing as an accident. Consciousness filtered into the panic as hormones surged to the surface in a sticky sea of bodily functions. Our children became my crusade and you and I were thrown away like batter round succulent white fish, we were breeding machines, and we played our roles succinctly. Now women come to me, wearing their wombs with various degrees of distress, suddenly discovering the strength of biology, and I try to soothe the terror, I try to remain wise in ambivalent situations, I try not to cry.
If you come too close
you might touch the centre
where rawness is not a catch phrase
where today merges into nothingness
where vastness is a wild mountain pass
where nothing ever really matters