Do Not Send the Poets

Do not send the poets

to build your mighty streets

for we will follow the stream’s meander

and bend aside for the cities of ants.


Do not send the poets

to clean your house

for we are apt to pause enraptured

by the fall of dust through light, and sing

‘o, there am i, o there am i’ while

the dwelling moulders on, unpolished.


Much less could you trust us to number the stars, on a deadline

for the First Poet is out there still, counting, pausing, considering

the way heaven’s song is undoubtably scored in points of light

singing point and counterpoint, embellishment, trill.


But least of all send the poets to war.

We hate it; and we are lazy in our bones

we prefer to malinger, delay death’s embrace

after all, between stars, dust and wayfinding

we have material in surfeit.

Furthermore, we are victims of elegant arc

and if we want blood, it must dance arabesque

– we’d be bastards at torture, let none disagree –

but the drive to destruction? we insist on degrees

and on time to enjoy the ride.


We are cowards, if you must know, even our hearts

must be offered in words, words our deeds.

And we are bound up in rhythms, enthralled to the Song.

We would only take the field of war under duress

had we nothing left to lose, no less

we would go at it with all our exquisite rage

– it was a poet distilled the fury of stars into a weapon first –

so do not look for the poets on the battlefield.

We would raze the world, accepting no yield

save the end of the Song.


In the silence after, the First Poet would be found

now, poetically Last,

gazing in wonder at the ghosts of the dust of the stars

seeing in this as much beauty as in the life we now share.




One Comment Add yours

  1. Mary-Ann says:

    Well written friend!


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