When Beyond the Furious Clouds


 
When demagogues create the dawn,
when teeth are bared in ready grins
& our palms gloved by leather,
before the trucks begin to roll,
before the crowds’ blood roar
& the crying in the streets,
before the word is broken,
the pennons muddied,
& the sky laved with fire…
 
Those were the days 
of martial parades,
of legions & lexicons.
From each whorled fingerprint
we cast worlds of thought
taut as pennons on the wind.
 
Those were the nights 
of spontaneous conspiracy
beneath the sheets,
of flight upon the bed,
our arms ready & linked
in the sun’s first splinter.
 
Now the art of flight is lost,
arms toppled into the sea,
the populace become the rabble.
Now our prints are smudged
by a rain of ashes
& petals of madness flare.
 
When serried columns pass & pass
in ranks unending,
when violence scales the walls
& outside a dirty snow is falling,
flake after flake the same,
when beyond the furious clouds
we can no longer be sure
the heavens remain.