Ballad of the Black Swan (November, 2010)

Once, when I was much younger
I heard a story sung
Of thousands come together
who quickly fell as one.
The much-lamented consequence
In eight years passed and gone,
Draw up another fight for us to lose.
Away ye gulls, vultures, crows, you carrion birds,
The volatile and insecure in everyone’s dream.
Will I be happy? Will I die? Will I swim against the tide?
Is the world warmer than it seems?
Jane loved Michael and she had done so all her life,
They were wed in ’94 and they left the southern sea,
They found a small apartment in the east side of the town
Where workers slept and poets wept
From the trials of living free.
“I have no choice,” Jane one day said to me,
“for I have made my bed and I must lie in it.
The youth patrol like wolves in packs…”
“But please relax, they only tax your mind
and rarely toll your body.”
6am sharp Michael worked hard every day
on the frozen scaffold for the pittance he was paid,
an honest man for an honest trade,
he soon grew fond of the songs they played,
so bright as not to remind him of me.
One April morning the cigarette fell out of his hand,
As the rain attacked the platform like waves.
The cautious man’s steel capped boots
Their grip it was for none
As the wind flung him in gravity’s sails.
The foreman picked up the phone,
Found the widow alone in her house,
His list had her name down as Jane.
In his most sincere voice, all the warmer
For the whiskey he had drunk
He said poor conditions were to blame.
Well Jane ran from her house, knocked the wolves aside,
Tore apart the world she knew as she reached the train in time.
Lightning flashed its queer courtship dance with thunder
Whose crash sent splinters shivering, the tree was torn asunder,
Down into the driver’s seat, his brakes a joke at 90 miles an hour,
The carriage left the tracks
And I stood with Michael there
As his love came near and
Everything reminded him of Me.
And I wept! I wept for death is my renewal,
Death is my marriage vow and death is my refusal,
Death is my punishment from a God in whom I would not believe.
A shadow that walks the land, a ripple from the heat,
I am the horrified collector of everyone I meet,
My heart filled with so much memory,
Weighed down by such memories.

 

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