Posts tagged ‘empire’

14/07/2013

From Northern Ports the Empire…

 

They call this place the Last of Hope,

The quayside packed with wailing folk,

Where Stoics stand and watch the boats,

And some will fight whilst others choke.

 

Behind the docks, the red brick spreads

And fills with cotton, coal and lead.

The brick turns black on chimney stacks,

Turns black on houses, back to back.

 

It wrenched its future from the fields,

From cottage mills and common lands,

And now it faces out to sea:

Enslaved, dependent, hanging on.

 

From lands which spill their ocean blood,

Come those who walk the one way street.

 

 

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10/02/2013

The Draughtsman’s Contract

 

The mirror carp outlive us all:

The monarchs, heirs and breeding mares.

The moat is thick as Irish blood,

It laps the brutal sandstone walls.

 

The clues are strewn across the fields,

And scattered out beyond these isles.

The desecrated arts of love

Can claim their ownership of graves.

 

Each day the gardens yield their fruit:

The murders, pomegranates, limes.

Exotic cultures lust for growth,

And envy is an ancient crop.

 

He goes where fame and money lead:

To shame and torture, birth and blame.

 

 

response to the film The Draughtsman’s Contract

 

 

29/05/2012

Mazes and Mines

 

They use the strongest men to cut,

The fleet to carve, the weak to smooth,

The dying breathe the dust and choke

On leaden lodes and metal veins.

 

They pile the spent in pits of lime,

Their bodies covered quick and deep.

The ones who make eternal works –

The slaves and workers – pay their tax.

 

The maze beneath the palace walls:

In marble, onyx, granite, bones.

The mines behind the Empire’s rise:

The tailings heaps which hide its graves.

 

They mark the cost of their success:

These kings and heroes, rich and blessed.

08/05/2012

The Empire of the Minotaur

 

They built the halls and weighing rooms

Of millstone grit and avarice.

They birthed the monster, fed its spite,

Then hid it deep beneath the moors

 

The maze they dug stretched out for miles,

To Yorkshire mills and cotton fields,

To sugar cane and gold and slaves,

Through merchant men and ship-o-line.

 

And soon there lurked beneath it all

The monster’s barely human form:

The towns and cities bent in smoke,

The fenced and drained, the turned and choked.

 

Beneath the art the bullets forged,

Beneath the war the moneyed hoard.