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A View From A Window
The dawn unfolds beyond my fractured windowpane
and breezes tease while drapes, like serpents, slip aside
exposing worlds that race and run aground, insane,
displaying scenes obscene that savants strive to mask and hide.
Outside, the streets are stark (last night they seemed so cruel
when demons danced as lanterns 'lumed the lynching tree -
its shadow shuddered, lurking in my vestibule -
within the night, I hear these things I sometimes cannot see).
The lady of the evening? Gone… her time to sleep!
But alleyways retain the bitter taste of grief
distilled in darkened doorways (those which watch but cannot weep) -
men hide their heads (her shame extending) seeking veiled relief.
Soon drifters (distraught dregs that stray from street to street)
abandon benches, squat on curbstones they call home,
appeal to strangers for a coin or simple bite to eat -
refused… gaze down… left empty-handed in the twilight gloam.
Observe with me, beyond my fractured windowpane,
the boy with crooked smile - the one who's seen the beast -
with tears, he stands and clasps the cross while wiping off the stain -
the abbey door along the lane conceals a pious priest.
While at the mall, Mike craves a cig, and stealth'ly steals a pack -
the Man, he smiles and thinks 'Hey Boy, there's gonna be some blood',
takes aim and shoots the youngster eight times in the back…
Come, mourn for Mike and brother Justice, facedown in the mud.
Fatigued and bored, some kids harass the alley now -
to pass the time, Joe smokes a joint, Liz sniffs a line;
computer games (which quake with doom) can help somehow
as Eric plays with Dylan on the road to Columbine.
The shanty town has hunkered down as if in sport
while broken bodies' shattered bones repose supine,
and mamas (now bereft of child) no more exhort,
their eyes drip drops of wrath which wither on a twisted vine.
Now Mr Barker, banker (cruising down the road,
pursuing profit pushers, waving magic mushroom wands),
adores addiction to the bailout (vaults now overflowed)
and thinks of all the junkies, while he's dealing out the bonds.
Life's carousel invites… though few can ring the prize…
Look! Princes stroll the parkway (umpteen billions? guaranteed!)
while kids with swollen bellies beg with hollow sunken eyes,
and (cut to naught) the down-and-out (like trodden beet roots) bleed.
A washerwoman, timeworn, totters from the tram -
she shuffles to her hovel, up a long and lonesome hill,
dejected, shuts the shutters, downs a final dram -
a black bird boldly picks at crumbs she's spilled upon the sill.
Jihadists and Crusaders, faithfully guard the gates,
behead the pagan infidels, else burn them at the stake
(yes, God is on their side for good, the other guys He hates),
with saintly satisfaction gained and nothing left but ache.
The keepers pry beyond a fractured windowpane
inspect us all, tear down the walls of privacy
controlling every thought or view one hopes to entertain,
dictating things one mustn't think and things one mustn't see.
But cast a furtive glance… there's something in the far…
although the desert's arid-dry, the skies, they sprinkle death
from soulless drones that search beneath a watchful evening star…
erupt in random ways… expunging babies' blameless breath.
But closer lies an island, where the keepers keep the wards.
No sense, no charges nor defense - a verdict? Yes! … grotesque -
the guiltless gush confessions, bred and borne on waterboards.
The missing trials? Amusing shows, indeed quite Kafkaesque.
Now dusk unfolds beyond my fractured windowpane
while mankind drowns like burnt-out suns in lurid fading light
and scarlet blood of grim deceit and ebon beads of bane
flow, deified, within the rotting corpse of human night.
Copyright © Terry O'Leary