Reference to Emerson and T S Eliot
Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
The lengthened shadow of a man is History, said Emerson,
Who had not seen the silhouette
of Sweeney straddled in the sun…
The harbingers of the highway, strange men –
pistoleros? – murdered his tribe. Alone,
he raises maize and yams. He is the last
to roam 4,000 hectares; to survive
sarampion, flu, smallpox and the loss
of relationships, family and friends.
The agribusinesses have been no friends
to Amazonian rainforests. Men
decimate the land; their gain is loss.
This man has lived for twenty years alone.
With four, or five, some other tribes survive,
but human diversity will not last.
When the illegal loggers have, at last,
razed every tree to the forest floor, friends
of the indigenous will not survive.
Stripping rare plants that might have healed men
will leave us with dilemmas, all alone,
to face health crises; scientific loss.
In today’s world we experience loss –
loss of our souls; our languages. The last
man to roam North Rondonia alone
at least felt what it was once to have friends.
He knew the co-operation of men
was vital for tribe members to survive.
Without his wisdom, how can we survive?
No man is an island. All sense the loss.
Our planet is affected – even men
who murdered his kin. The effects will last,
impacting their families and their friends.
Doubtless their guilt should not be borne alone.
Corporations do not erode alone.
Immunity itself will not survive.
Time’s arrow can pierce foes and even friends.
The Man of the Hole, who suffered great loss,
knows his breath will be surrendered at last,
but he holds that in common with all men.
Friends of our earth, how shall we survive loss
of habitats and species? Fellow men,
look at this last man. He’s not alone.
A post of the poem I already published in February 2021.
‘The Man in the Hole’ was found outside his straw hut, dead in a hammock
and covered with Macaw feathers. He was aged about 60 and no foul play
is suspected at this time.
What an embarrassing fuss!
She confused the Baltic and Black Sea.
Does she have Geography GCSE?
Boris Johnson, PM,
from whom the Tory Party and the country’s troubles stem,
knows all about ‘tragic miscalculation[s]’
and is woefully inept at international relations.
lover of the biker boot and trainer,
called the Conservatives ‘scum.’
Maybe, some think, she wasn’t quite so dumb?
we’d be misled if we called him a charmer-
inadvertently, or not, the Scots crofter was hot.
His principled stand eclipsed the whole lot.*
(in some people’s opinion)
Princeling of Pettifog?
Is that a silver spoon in the pocket of your pantaloon,
or are you pleased to see us, that you may bestow a boon?
is giving us £200 back.
‘Now, don’t bite the hand that feeds you,’ he may say.
No, we’ll leave that till the Election Day.
Goya: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters from Los Caprichos
black mood patient endurance anguished thoughts
groundless expectation tunnel light silver lining?
wry smile forced laughter gnawing jealousy
black tunnel anguished grind daily endurance
Wish it was. Fed up with the universal greyness that covers all.
Was that Alexander Pope? Dryden?
I’m thinking ‘Dunciad.’ Maybe it was Matthew Arnold- I forget, alas.
I know Europe is burning, but here it is day after day of grey
Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
Who were these invaders?
Haunting the holloways, harrowed by hooves;
feeling our footfall fragment the flint.
Scanning the canopy’s inosculation,
we glybe through glossamer and squint in the glisk.
Dustsceawung is unavoidable:
dreams flit into smeause, like mice through a crack;
dilemmas dissolve through smoot holes.
Preoccupation is piffling to us.
We head for a hill-fort; spy on a settlement,
among the shadowtracks and shivelights
at the selvedge fray of a sown field.
After a shower, a pungent petrichor
permeates nostrils and a landskein
looms over the horizon, like smoke from their huts.
Soon it will be wolf-light; eawl-leet softens
and Heimweh’s heft hirples our hearts,
so we summon the sun wane
on the suthering tide, where we tied our ships.
May a spanging breeze freeze the salt in our beards!
Helmsmen, we long for the Hran-rad and home.
A quennet for a woman who made a fortune with her pen:
fourth daughter Gloucestershire born Mendip Hills
religious tracts pastoral plays Sunday education
‘strange affair’ Bleeding Rock jilted female
strange plays female education pastoral landscape
Christ died on an aspen cross, woodmen thought.
Maybe that’s why, on slight provocation,
I quake and all my cordate leaves shiver,
so that I am known as ‘The Trembling Giant,’
aka Populus tremuloides.
Before men walked out of Africa and
when glaciers were scouring the planet,
I, Pando, was like a subterranean god –
not Pluto, but Pando, meaning ‘I spread.’
After flames have incinerated me,
my dormant rhizome will regenerate,
like resurgence of an old religion.
In times of trial, I just go underground;
in ideal circumstances, I can host
bryophytes; nurture lepidoptera.
I have the root of the matter in me,
but I share my vulnerability
with my multiple ramets – all my clones.
I haven’t flowered for ten thousand years,
in spite of a rigorous self-pruning.
See where black scars mutilate my white bark.
Invasive lodge pole pine may steal my light
and pocket gophers gnaw my root system,
but I sprout from this volcanic soil.
What I lack in diversity,
I’ll exchange for durability, for
we suckers just plan to stay together,
even when a highway runs right through us.
Master of the art of adaptation,
I will survive when all else is ashen.