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Duath
The Spirit of Rebellion

The moon is full, the night is young,
I could be mad, I could be drunk,
I could be just another fool--
You were always telling me...
And yet I know in my heart
That you and I were meant to part,
And all that matters
Is the spirit of rebellion.

The tragic laugh, the tears of joy,
Alone, sad and unemployed,
It's just the way I would end up
You were always telling me...
And yet I know deep inside
I don't have anything to hide
And all that matters
Is the spirit of rebellion.

I wrote these songs, these senseless songs--
Yes, you were right and I was wrong--
I never was to be respectable or sellable...
Yet I would laugh this stupid laugh
As if my pain is not enough
And all that matters
Is the spirit of rebellion.

My heart's afire! Hold on quick
To this eternal Augenblick!
Yes, I'd rather be a roaming rapscallion--
Just kiss me, darling, while you can,
Tomorrow we won't meet again
And all that matters
Is the spirit of rebellion.

And if tomorrow I should die,
Just take this verse, my love, don't cry,
Remembering the things
That I've been telling you--
One day we die, it's all the same,
This cruel life is just a game
And all that matters
Is the spirit of rebellion.

By Alexander Shaumyan
Duath
Europe: The 72nd and 73rd Years of These States

Suddenly out of its stale and drowsy lair, the lair of slaves,
Like lightning it le’pt forth half startled at itself,
Its feet upon the ashes and the rags, its hands tight to the throats of kings.

O hope and faith!
O aching close of exiled patriots’ lives!
O many a sicken’d heart!
Turn back unto this day, and make yourselves afresh.

And you, paid to defile the People! you liars, mark!
Not for numberless agonies, murders, lusts,
For court thieving in its manifold mean forms, worming from his simplicity the poor man’s wages,
For many a promise sworn by royal lips, and broken, and laugh’d at in the breaking,
Then in their power, not for all these, did the blows strike revenge, or the heads of the nobles fall;
The People scorn’d the ferocity of kings.

But the sweetness of mercy brew’d bitter destruction, and the frighten’d monarchs come back;
Each comes in state, with his train—hangman, priest, tax-gatherer,
Soldier, lawyer, lord, jailer, and sycophant.

Yet behind all, lowering, stealing—lo, a Shape,
Vague as the night, draped interminable, head, front, and form, in scarlet folds,
Whose face and eyes none may see,
Out of its robes only this—the red robes, lifted by the arm,
One finger, crook’d, pointed high over the top, like the head of a snake appears.

Meanwhile, corpses lie in new-made graves—bloody corpses of young men;
The rope of the gibbet hangs heavily, the bullets of princes are flying, the creatures of power laugh aloud,
And all these things bear fruits—and they are good.

Those corpses of young men,
Those martyrs that hang from the gibbets—those hearts pierc’d by the gray lead,
Cold and motionless as they seem, live elsewhere with unslaughter’d vitality.

They live in other young men, O kings!
They live in brothers again ready to defy you!
They were purified by death—they were taught and exalted.

Not a grave of the murder’d for freedom, but grows seed for freedom, in its turn to bear seed,
Which the winds carry afar and re-sow, and the rains and the snows nourish.

Not a disembodied spirit can the weapons of tyrants let loose,
But it stalks invisibly over the earth, whispering, counselling, cautioning.

Liberty! let others despair of you! I never despair of you.

Is the house shut? Is the master away?
Nevertheless, be ready—be not weary of watching;
He will return soon—his messengers come anon.

By Walt Whitman

The European revolutions of 1848–49
Duath
Watch Out for the Cops
"For the police department of Portland, Oregon, who kill more black men per capita than any other police department in the United States, last I checked."

Portland is a town that's in the news much of the time
There are a lot of vegans and there's very little crime
It's a nice safe place to live, folks ride bicycles a lot
The winters aren't so cold and the summers aren't so hot
They build houses out of cob, they hang out in the park
Where you needn't worry about walking after dark
There are lots of homeless people but they don't hurt no one
Just be careful of the boys in blue playing with their guns

Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops


You can hang out with the punks with the piercings and tattoos
You can eat out at a food truck, any neighborhood you choose
You can dance to Balkan music while you drink a microbrew
Chilling in a gay bar with the mayor and his crew
But be careful what you do, be prepared to get some flack
Especially for those who may be male, young and Black
The fact is you'd do better in sweet home Alabam
You're safer there on the old streets of Birmingham

Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops


Portland's full of roses, there are flowers everywhere
But for others they've got prisons with some nice electric chairs
You can go downtown, ride the buses there for free
But you never know when you'll get a DWB
A town full of progressives but such a rotten bunch of cops
Who knows who'll get shot at the next routine traffic stop?
When you live in a place like Portland where they tend to act this way
You can just join the police force instead of the KKK!

Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops
Watch out for the cops


By David Rovics

http://youtu.be/QLlPMa-fkEs
Duath
Sergeant William Bailey

Sergeant William Bailey was a man of high renown,
Tooral looral looral looral loo,
In search of gallant young recruits he used to scour the town,
Tooral looral looral looral loo,
His face was full and swarthy, of medals he had forty,
And ribbons on his chest red white and blue,
It was he that looked the hero as he made the people stare O,
As he stood on Dunphy's corner, tooral loo.

But alas for human greatness every dog he has his day,
Tooral looral looral looral loo,
And Sergeant William Bailey he is getting old and grey,
Tooral looral looral looral loo,
No longer youths are willing to take his dirty shilling,
And things for him are looking mighty blue,
In spite of fife and drumming no more recruits are coming,
For Sergeant William Bailey, tooral loo.

Sergeant William Bailey what a wretched sight to see,
Tooral looral looral looral loo,
His back that once was firm and straight is almost bent in three,
Tooral looral looral looral loo,
Some rebel youths with placards have called his army blackguards,
And told the Irish youth just what to do,
He has lost his occupation let's sing in jubilation,
For Sergeant William Bailey, tooral loo.

By Peadar Kearney

Easter Rebellion, April 1916

http://youtu.be/skV8_95P8rI
Duath
Let The People Sing

For those who are in love
There's a song that's warm and tender
For those who are oppressed
In song you can protest
So liberate your minds
And give your soul expression
Open up your hearts
I'll sing for you this song

Let the people sing their stories and their songs
And the music of their native land
Their lullabies and battlecries and songs of hope and joy
So join us hand in hand
All across this ancient land
Throughout the test of time
It was music that kept their spirits free
Those songs of yours and of mine


It was back in ancient times
The bard would tell his stories
Of the heroes, of the villain
Of the chieftains in the glen
Through Elizabethan time
And Cromwellian war and fury
Put our pipers to the sword
Killed our harpers and our bards

Ireland, land of song
Your music lives forever
In its valleys, in its mountains
In its hills and in its glens
Our music did survive
Through famine and oppression
To the generations gone
I'll sing for you this song

Let the people sing their stories and their songs
And the music of their native land
Their lullabies and battlecries and songs of hope and joy
So join us hand in hand
All across this ancient land
Throughout the test of time
It was music that kept their spirits free
Those songs of yours and of mine


By 'The Wolfe Tones'

http://youtu.be/Bdi8WZnpUpM
Duath
The Tipperary Song

I heard the song of Tipperary
The day they ordered us all to hell
The fields of Flanders were a nightmare
As I charged through flying shells
And soon I knew my war was over
Machine guns cut me to the ground
And slipping in and out of darkness
I first heard Tipperary Town.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary
It’s a long, long way to get back home
But we can make it there together
‘Cause I don’t want to end it here, alone.


For weeks and months I lived in shadows
Clinging to the edge of life
And only one thing kept me going
When they told me I was blind
‘Cause you were always there beside me
Nursing all my tears away
Softly singing Tipperary
To help me through the darkest days

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary
It’s a long, long way to get back home
But we can make it there together
‘Cause I don’t want to end it here, alone.


Then one day your singing ended
And someone told me you were gone
Sent up front to help the wounded
And sing your healing song
So when those vicious guns were silenced
And when we marched home from the war
I made my way to Tipperary
To try and hear your song once more

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary
It’s a long, long way to get back home
But we can make it there together
‘Cause I don’t want to end it here, alone.


For days and days I walked the old town
With a helper showing me the way
I listened to the Irish voices
But they never said your name
And when it seemed my time was wasted
And when I thought my dreams were dead
I sat down in a pub on Main Street
And suddenly your voice was there.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary
It’s a long, long way to get back home
But we can make it here together
‘Cause I don’t want to end it here...
And we don’t want to end it here...
Alone.


By Rob Russel Davies

Duath
Run Through The Jungle

Whoa, thought it was a nightmare,
Lo, it's all so true,
They told me, "Don't go walkin' slow
'Cause Devil's on the loose."

Better run through the jungle,
Better run through the jungle,
Better run through the jungle,
Woa, Don't look back to see.


Thought I heard a rumblin'
Callin' to my name,
Two hundred million guns are loaded
Satan cries, "Take aim!"

Better run through the jungle,
Better run through the jungle,
Better run through the jungle,
Woa, Don't look back to see.


Over on the mountain
Thunder magic spoke,
"Let the people know my wisdom,
Fill the land with smoke."

Better run through the jungle,
Better run through the jungle,
Better run through the jungle,
Woa, Don't look back to see.


By John C. Fogerty

Nixon launches secret Cambodian air strikes, March 15-17 1969

http://youtu.be/0y4SNucf12U
14th-Mar-2019 12:00 am - Peadar Kearney, 'The Soldier's Song'
Duath
The Soldier's Song

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song,
With cheering rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o'er us;
Impatient for the coming fight,
And as we wait the morning's light,
Here in the silence of the night,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free,
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the Bearna Bhaoil
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.


In valley green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
And conquered 'neath the same old flag
That's proudly floating o'er us.
We're children of a fighting race,
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march, the foe to face,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free,
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the Bearna Bhaoil
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.


Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking;
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking.
Our camp fires now are burning low;
See in the east a silv'ry glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
So chant a soldier's song.

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free,
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the Bearna Bhaoil
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.


By Peadar Kearney

Easter Rising: Peadar Kearney’s great-grandson sings Anthem at Glasnevin commemoration

Duath
The Connaught Rangers

I saw the Connaught Rangers when they were passing by,
On a spring day, a good day, with gold rifts in the sky.
Themselves were marching steadily along the Liffey quay
An' I see the young proud look of them as if it was to-day!
The bright lads, the right lads, I have them in my mind,
With the green flags on their bayonets all fluttering in the wind!

A last look at old Ireland, a last good-bye maybe,
Then the gray sea, the wide sea, my grief upon the sea!
And when will they come home, says I, when will they see once more
The dear blue hills of Wicklow and Wexford's dim gray shore?
The brave lads of Ireland, no better lads you'll find,
With the green flags on their bayonets all fluttering in the wind!

Three years have passed since that spring day, sad years for them and me.
Green graves there are in Serbia and in Gallipoli.
And many who went by that day along the muddy street
Will never hear the roadway ring to their triumphant feet.
But when they march before Him, God's welcome will be kind,
And the green flags on their bayonets will flutter in the wind.

By Winifred M. Letts
12th-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Carl Sandburg, 'The Liars'
Duath
The Liars
(March, 1919)


A liar goes in fine clothes.
A liar goes in rags.
A liar is a liar, clothes or no clothes.
A liar is a liar and lives on the lies he tells and dies in a life of lies.
And the stonecutters earn a living—with lies—on the tombs of liars.

A liar looks ’em in the eye
And lies to a woman,
Lies to a man, a pal, a child, a fool.
And he is an old liar; we know him many years back.

A liar lies to nations.
A liar lies to the people.
A liar takes the blood of the people
And drinks this blood with a laugh and a lie,
A laugh in his neck,
A lie in his mouth.
And this liar is an old one; we know him many years.
He is straight as a dog’s hind leg.
He is straight as a corkscrew.
He is white as a black cat’s foot at midnight.

The tongue of a man is tied on this,
On the liar who lies to nations,
The liar who lies to the people.
The tongue of a man is tied on this
And ends: To hell with ’em all.
To hell with ’em all.

It’s a song hard as a riveter’s hammer,
Hard as the sleep of a crummy hobo,
Hard as the sleep of a lousy doughboy,
Twisted as a shell-shock idiot’s gibber.

The liars met where the doors were locked.
They said to each other: Now for war.
The liars fixed it and told ’em: Go.

Across their tables they fixed it up,
Behind their doors away from the mob.
And the guns did a job that nicked off millions.
The guns blew seven million off the map,
The guns sent seven million west.
Seven million shoving up the daisies.
Across their tables they fixed it up,
The liars who lie to nations.

And now
Out of the butcher’s job
And the boneyard junk the maggots have cleaned,
Where the jaws of skulls tell the jokes of war ghosts,
Out of this they are calling now: Let’s go back where we were.
Let us run the world again, us, us.

Where the doors are locked the liars say: Wait and we’ll cash in again.

So I hear The People talk.
I hear them tell each other:
Let the strong men be ready.
Let the strong men watch.
Let your wrists be cool and your head clear.
Let the liars get their finish,
The liars and their waiting game, waiting a day again
To open the doors and tell us: War! get out to your war again.

So I hear The People tell each other:
Look at to-day and to-morrow.
Fix this clock that nicks off millions
When The Liars say it’s time.
Take things in your own hands.
To hell with ’em all,
The liars who lie to nations,
The liars who lie to The People.

By Carl Sandburg
11th-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Alex Cockers, 'The Brutal Game'
Duath
The Brutal Game

I’m sitting here now
Trying to put pen to paper
Trying to write something
That you can relate to

It’s hard to relate
To my personal circumstances
I’m out here in Afghanistan now
Taking my chances

Read what you read
And say what you say
You won't understand it
Until you’ve lived it day by day

Poverty-stricken people
With medieval ways
Will take your life without a thought
And now we’re all the same
Each playing our part in this brutal game

By Alex Cockers
Duath
The Ballad of Soulful Sam

You want me to tell you a story, a yarn of the firin' line,
Of our thin red kharki 'eroes, out there where the bullets whine;
Out there where the bombs are bustin', and the cannons like 'ell-doors slam --
Just order another drink, boys, and I'll tell you of Soulful Sam.

Oh, Sam, he was never 'ilarious, though I've 'ad some mates as was wus;
He 'adn't C. B. on his programme, he never was known to cuss.
For a card or a skirt or a beer-mug he 'adn't a friendly word;
But when it came down to Scriptures, say! Wasn't he just a bird!

He always 'ad tracts in his pocket, the which he would haste to present,
And though the fellers would use them in ways that they never was meant,
I used to read 'em religious, and frequent I've been impressed
By some of them bundles of 'oly dope he carried around in his vest.

For I -- and oh, 'ow I shudder at the 'orror the word conveys!
'Ave been -- let me whisper it 'oarsely -- a gambler 'alf of me days;
A gambler, you 'ear -- a gambler. It makes me wishful to weep,
And yet 'ow it's true, my brethren! -- I'd rather gamble than sleep.

I've gambled the 'ole world over, from Monte Carlo to Maine;
From Dawson City to Dover, from San Francisco to Spain.
Cards! They 'ave been me ruin. They've taken me pride and me pelf,
And when I'd no one to play with -- why, I'd go and I'd play by meself.

And Sam 'e would sit and watch me, as I shuffled a greasy deck,
And 'e'd say: "You're bound to Perdition,"
And I'd answer: "Git off me neck!"
And that's 'ow we came to get friendly, though built on a different plan,
Me wot's a desprite gambler, 'im sich a good young man.

But on to me tale. Just imagine . . . Darkness! The battle-front!
The furious 'Uns attackin'! Us ones a-bearin' the brunt!
Me crouchin' be'ind a sandbag, tryin' 'ard to keep calm,
When I 'ears someone singin' a 'ymn toon; be'old! it is Soulful Sam.

Yes; right in the crash of the combat, in the fury of flash and flame,
'E was shootin' and singin' serenely as if 'e enjoyed the same.
And there in the 'eat of the battle, as the 'ordes of demons attacked,
He dipped down into 'is tunic, and 'e 'anded me out a tract.

Then a star-shell flared, and I read it: Oh, Flee From the Wrath to Come!
Nice cheerful subject, I tell yer, when you're 'earin' the bullets 'um.
And before I 'ad time to thank 'im, just one of them bits of lead
Comes slingin' along in a 'urry, and it 'its my partner. . . . Dead?

No, siree! not by a long sight! For it plugged 'im 'ard on the chest,
Just where 'e'd tracts for a army corps stowed away in 'is vest.
On its mission of death that bullet 'ustled along, and it caved
A 'ole in them tracts to 'is 'ide, boys -- but the life o' me pal was saved.

And there as 'e showed me in triumph, and 'orror was chokin' me breath,
On came another bullet on its 'orrible mission of death;
On through the night it cavorted, seekin' its 'aven of rest,
And it zipped through a crack in the sandbags,
and it wolloped me bang on the breast.

Was I killed, do you ask? Oh no, boys. Why am I sittin' 'ere
Gazin' with mournful vision at a mug long empty of beer?
With a throat as dry as a -- oh, thanky! I don't much mind if I do.
Beer with a dash of 'ollands, that's my particular brew.

Yes, that was a terrible moment. It 'ammered me 'ard o'er the 'eart;
It bowled me down like a nine-pin, and I looked for the gore to start;
And I saw in the flash of a moment, in that thunder of hate and strife,
Me wretched past like a pitchur -- the sins of a gambler's life.

For I 'ad no tracts to save me, to thwart that mad missile's doom;
I 'ad no pious pamphlets to 'elp me to cheat the tomb;
I 'ad no 'oly leaflets to baffle a bullet's aim;
I'd only -- a deck of cards, boys, but . . . IT SEEMED TO DO JUST THE SAME.

By Robert W. Service
9th-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Brandon Courtney, 'Prometheus'
Duath
Prometheus
(for Neal D. Courtney, Cambodia 1969-70)

Years before his bedridden blindness,
my sobriety,
there was day-tripping
through the National Mall’s
gazing pool—The Three Soldiers—
an embossed flask
clanging
against my father’s belt buckle.
He poured shot after shot
of off-brand bourbon into cut-glass,

chain-smoked Chesterfield’s, rolled spliffs,
offering me a swallow,

a medicinal hit
from the same ashen hand
that formed his fist
that christened drywall,
my mother’s lip.
Fever wasn’t the only thing to break
in Cambodia,
in roadside ditches dark
as umbilical blood.
There was the slug fired from the angel-end
of his rifle,
ripping through eucalyptus leaves.
There was him,

left in tourniquet grass
to shepherd home our dead.
Now, when he sits
on the crag and tells me of the world’s
original fire,
how black wasps carouselled
the tongues of bloated bison,
I believe him.
No maggot went unfed.

By Brandon Courtney
8th-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Christy Moore, 'Natives'
Duath
Natives

For all of our languages we can't communicate
For all of our native tongues we're all natives here
Sons of their fathers' dream the same dream
The sound of forbidden words becomes a scream
Voices in anger, victims of history
Plundered and set aside, grow fat on swallowed pride

With promises of paradise and gifts of beads and knives
Missionaries and pioneers are soldiers in disguise
Saviours and Conquerers, they make us wait
Like fishers of men they wave their truth like bait
But with the touch of a stranger's hand innocence turns to shame
The spirit that dwelt within now sleeps out in the rain

For all of our languages we can't communicate,
For all of our native tongues, we're all natives here
The scars of the past are slow to disappear
The cries of the dead are always in our ears
And only the very safe can talk about wrong and right
Of those who are forced to choose, some will choose to fight

By Christy Moore

http://youtu.be/7fagRGfEcqc
7th-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Alice George, 'Afghan Variations'
Duath
Afghan Variations

When I walk and think about science, the arrows become change.
Blood, skin and ideas are related, they laugh together.

Every day, mothers run through my hands and I eat war.
If entrails and text stand next to each other, you can almost see silence.

When I walk and think about arrows, the blood becomes botany.
If mother is everywhere, then where are the entrails?

Every day, hands runs through my hands and I eat my daughter.
Change, monsters and dissection live next door, they are neighbors, I hear them.

If blood and skin stand next to each other, you can almost see the ideas.
If Afghanistan is true, then I am happy, but if anthrax is true, then I am sad.

Every day, Afghanistan runs through my hands and I eat anthrax.
If my daughter and dissection stand together, you can almost see my hand.

If seeds equals silence, my life means nothing.
Skin, text and war are related, they laugh together.

Every day, war runs through my hands and I eat text.
If skin is everywhere, then where is silence?

Science, seeds and silence live next door, they are neighbors, I hear them.
If skin and text stand next to each other, you can almost see the war.

By Alice George
6th-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Helen Mackay, 'Train'
Duath
Train

Will the train never start?
God, make the train start.

She cannot bear it, keeping up so long;
and he, he no more tries to laugh at her.
He is going.

She holds his two hands now.
Now, she has touch of him and sight of him.
And then he will be gone.
He will be gone.

They are so young.
She stands under the window of his carriage,
and he stands in the window.
They hold each other’s hands
across the window ledge.
And look and look,
and know that they may never look again.

The great clock of the station-
how strange it is.
Terrible that the minutes go,
terrible that the minutes never go.

They had walked the platform for so long,
up and down, and up and down-
the platform, in the rainy morning,
up and down, and up and down.

The guard came by, calling,
“Take your places, take your places.”

She stands under the window of his carriage,
and he stands in the window.

God, make the train start!
Before they cannot bear it,
make the train start!

God, make the train start!

The three children, there,
in black, with the old nurse,
standing together, and looking, and looking,
up at their father in the carriage window,
they are so forlorn and silent.

The little girl will not cry,
but her chin trembles.
She throws back her head,
with its stiff little braid,
and will not cry.

Her father leans down,
out over the ledge of the window,
and kisses her, and kisses her.

She must be like her mother,
and it must be the mother who is dead.
The nurse lifts up the smallest boy,
and his father kisses him,
leaning through the carriage window.

The big boy stands very straight,
and looks at his father,
and looks, and never takes his eyes from him,
And knows that he may never look again.

Will the train never start?
God, make the train start!

The father reaches his hand down from the window,
and grips the boy’s hand,
and does not speak at all.

Will the train never start?

He lets the boy’s hand go.

Will the train never start?

He takes the boy’s chin in his hand,
leaning out through the window,
and lifts the face that is so young, to his.
They look and look,
and know that they may never look again.

Will the train never start?
God, make the train start!

by Helen Mackay
Duath
Tommies In The Train

The sun shines,
The coltsfoot flowers along the railway banks
Shine like flat coin which Jove in thanks
Strews each side the lines.

A steeple
In purple elms, daffodils
Sparkle beneath; luminous hills
Beyond--and no people.

England, Oh Danae
To this spring of cosmic gold
That falls on your lap of mould!
What then are we?

What are we
Clay-coloured, who roll in fatigue
As the train falls league by league
From our destiny?

A hand is over my face,
A cold hand. I peep between the fingers
To watch the world that lingers
Behind, yet keeps pace.

Always there, as I peep
Between the fingers that cover my face!
Which then is it that falls from its place
And rolls down the steep?

Is it the train
That falls like meteorite
Backward into space, to alight
Never again?

Or is it the illusory world
That falls from reality
As we look? Or are we
Like a thunderbolt hurled?

One or another
Is lost, since we fall apart
Endlessly, in one motion depart
From each other.

By D.H. Lawrence
Duath
More Lines on a Shield Abandoned During Battle

The one time I said something
Awful to someone
I didn't know the meaning of,
It hardly mattered to him how empty
My head was
As his three younger brothers jumped
Down from the barn loft they slept in
And closed ranks behind him.

The hen he'd been about to kill
Rejoined a few others feeding
Near the stump.

Are you talking to me? he said.

And it's true
As you and anyone who's ever scattered knows,
And usually sooner-someone or something
Will ask what you mean
The quicker
The world lives in a person,
The earlier he learns
To ask.

I'm trying
To imagine racing over
Someone's countryside, and making off with its riches
As you and your brief nation did
Then coming up
Face to face
With one of them better armed.

I'm glad we ran, both of us, having
Straddled that line
Beyond which
There are only dogs' jaws
Candid
About the river of death,
And how there are no limits to its length,
And how someone had better live
To tell the others.

By Arthur Smith
3rd-Mar-2019 01:00 am - Osip Mandelstam, 'The Age'
Duath
The Age

My beast, my age, who will try
to look you in the eye,
and weld the vertebrae
of century to century,
with blood? Creating blood
pours out of mortal things:
only the parasitic shudder,
when the new world sings.

As long as it still has life,
the creature lifts its bone,
and, along the secret line
of the spine, waves foam.
Once more life’s crown,
like a lamb, is sacrificed,
cartilage under the knife -
the age of the new-born.
To free life from jail,
and begin a new absolute,
the mass of knotted days
must be linked by means of a flute.
With human anguish
the age rocks the wave’s mass,
and the golden measure’s hissed
by a viper in the grass.

And new buds will swell, intact,
the green shoots engage,
but your spine is cracked
my beautiful, pitiful, age.
And grimacing dumbly, you writhe,
look back, feebly, with cruel jaws,
a creature, once supple and lithe,
at the tracks left by your paws.

By Osip Mandelstam
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