(For Jack Merrit)
by Chris Nash
Breathe in the bitter despair,
Now breathe out the freer air
And join, deep out - deep in
This morning, crisp and clear...
Yes, it’s true, ice and undeniable
Those golden leaves of reason
Have been shaken to earth again,
Once again they’ve made us fools
To believe their season of mis-rule
Is nature, eternal, unchangeable...
Once again, yes, once again,
They’ve started up that machine
Their disguise, that lies and drains
Every bright colour from the world,
Till as numb as frostbite, it seems
Our eyes hues, our mind’s pigments
Will bleach as blank as their hearts...
We put up a good fight, we always do
And now we have ice-cold comforts,
A homelessness of insatiable greed,
Deaths on the frozen pavement of austerity,
A weary, wasteland eternity to look forward to,
Wintering, till only a memory survives...
Just as the faintest warmed breath
For a mere moment, clears a misty window
We will remember what we saw,
A bud of Spring in a bare-forked bough
A curl of leaf in a shrivelly fist of bark,
A swell of song in the brittle, silenced,
…..we saw it didn’t we!
The more they told us the world had died
The more we saw what they tried to hide,
The more the raw roots of shared re-growth
Clench frail fingers round a grain of truth.
Yes we saw what we saw
And no, we will never forget,
That too many have minds
Like screens, too easy to bind,
To illusions of power and profit.
Despair will not steal this dawn-breath away,
In the freezing wind of the morning’s derision
Lips chafed and sore, we can begin to sing...
Till we believe that a new world of leaves,
In the myriad voices of some other summer.
Chris Nash writes international ‘poetry without borders’ and is now working on a collection of ‘songs’ for species threatened by extinction called ‘Is this Goodbye?’. See www.chrisnashpoetry.com.