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Pair of Bright Eyes


by Darryl Price




 

The sad march goes on. It stretches endlessly over an eternity

of painful hills, as unnatural as lumps under the skin, into

the deserted broken streets, the forgotten unprotected alleyways, always adding more

and more lost children to its sickening sticky mess. Every now

and then you can see a pair of bright eyes staring

out of the rolling emptiness like chipped stars, but they're soon

covered up with more dirt and debris. The sad march goes

 

on. If only I could forget. What's the point? It will

never let go of them again. Their tiny fingers will never

grasp anything happy, and you think this is okay because they

don't look like you? They are not even wearing anything like

shoes you can easily identify as being somewhat in the civilized

category. They are little more than a foaming pack of muddied

wolves. They will sink their stinking teeth into anything not nailed

 

down. It's your duty to resist them, and it's my duty

to resist you. The sad march goes on. They are the

first ones to fall as you ride over any leaf stupid

enough to grow in your smashing way. It doesn't have to

be couched in a pretty lie. The sad march goes on.

It doesn't have to be said, but it might as well

be-- because we are trying to build something out of hope

 

here. For you all time has stopped at your doorstep. For

you all time is in its proper place, on a wall,

in a drawer, to be used only to cash in someone

else's future for another cheap deposit on your ever-present situation in

the fabulous golden garden. For you all time is yours to

rob repeatedly. The sad march goes on. But my concern is

not with you. It is with them. There must be some

 

way to free them from your traditional trap. That's what I'm

looking for. The right words. The right inflection of the meaning.

A sign. Don't worry. We'll find it. Meanwhile the sad march

continues to be their very bad philosophy. It's a way that

always causes more harm than good, but the pay is pretty

fine for a government job. All you must do is let

them replace your eyes with something less observant and more obedient.

 

The sad march goes on. It's killed better poets than me.

Poems have disappeared into shadow over night. It does no good

to pretend. The sad march goes on. They will stoop to

the ground and beyond just to deny your existence if it

gets in the way of counting the next batch of money.

So, what? Tell your brain to stop its crying. We've got

something for free that they are always trying to get, but

 

that can't be purchased. Step yourself into the light, brother. Remember

what makes you glad, sister. The sad march goes on. It

doesn't get any easier, but neither does it get less important.

The sad march goes on. Do what you can. Do what

you must. Do what you like. That's what they can't figure

out. It makes no sense. They are baffled by the branches

of the poem. Their lust sees only flowers. We see sky. 




Bonus poem:




       Here in the Poisoned World

 

it's always the age of

the coward. Here in the

poisoned mind the mourning

of a young President

is our popular sin,

 

our nostalgia. Here

in the poisoned winds the

toxic feelings of loss

become grand illusion,

our best card trick. Here in

the poisoned world we fly

 

our flags at half-mast now

before thinking of why.

Here in the poisoned mind

we elect a king in

the sky before a man

in the street. Here in the

 

poisoned winds we pretend

not to notice the stench

coming from the ovens.

In the poisoned world, we

accept marching orders

with smart salutes and no

 

back talk, no poetry.

Inside the poisoned mind

we reason with dueling

televisions. In the

choking winds, we cough with

our hands in the air. Here

 

in the poisoned world, we

must sit on our dreams and

never need to share them.

The poisoned mind's afraid

to be alone.Poisoned

birds sing without a sound.   

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