Gripes & Grace

index of first lines
:: Stanley gathers the bomb-blasted fragments ::
:: the slaughtered earth mourns ::
:: a level playing field ::
:: it felt as if a yell would be necessary ::
:: the broken sky prays ::
:: time grew tired ::

Stanley - Burghclere ResurrectionStanley gathers the bomb-blasted fragments
ready for resurrection
the butchers sharpen their missiles
turning Iraqis into so much topside
so much rump steak
the bosses wave and smile
to their old friend, the camera
and reassure us
lest we had any qualms
that God is on their side

I’ll take no side with them
says God
How could men be such twisted fools?
Stanley, gather the slabs of flesh
and give each soul a cross
and up the ladder of crosses they climb
from Flanders field
from the gaping horror once Falluga
while the very Devil waves and smiles
to his friend, the camera
as we burst into star-eyed applause

10 November 2004, 12.30 am

the slaughtered earth mourns
the buzzing blade
the pumping pipe
the murderous mist

content only with dominion
humanity struts
about its slag heap

10 May 2000, 9.15 am

the game

a level playing field
with one set of rules
all God’s children
are born
and die

28 February 2000

it felt as if a yell would be necessary
i was too timid
couldn't quite stand on tiptoe
clear my throat in front of the whole world
would have gawked awkwardly
while important people
shook their heads

so i kept quiet
not realizing
i could whisper
this instead

18 October 1999, 3.50 pm

the broken sky prays
indigo weeps
and with a predator’s conscience
humanity sleeps

29 April 1999, 4 pm

time grew tired
and stopped the world
from ticking
all birdsong broke
and the guns
lurched into silence

no more flowers
mourned the wasteless sense
of measuring clerks
no more grey queues
exulted in the
beauty of life

if we had
only known
that time would
be so

4 April 1999, 5.10 pm