Stifled – A Voice For The Animals

(inspired by the film ‘Earthlings’)

Our lives have been stifled
We’re rife with tension.
Our children are condemned.
Our cries don’t get much mention.

What wild dream did you have for your life?
What fanciful fantasy did you feel you possessed?
What hope for a good life did you feel you had lost
Been left bereft of, dispossessed?

We’ve been held back, held down, bound and gagged.
We’ve been stripped of what’s legit,
Throttled, bottled …and bagged.
We’ve been packaged and labelled,
We’ve been set upon the table.
The fat cats have gathered,
They’ve got the gravy boats and ladles.

We’ve been used and abused,
Mis-used and bruised.
Misunderstood, trod underfoot, and misconstrued.

The big washing machine’s
passed us through the mangle.
We’ve been wrung out by the wringer,
We’ve been strung out and strangled.

What wild dream did you have for your life?
What fanciful fantasy did you feel you possessed?
What hope for a good life did you feel you had lost
Been left bereft of, dispossessed?

We’ve been caged and chained,
Maimed and made lame.
We’ve been twisted and wrenched, strained and sprained
We’ve been arranged and tamed, contained and constrained.
We’ve been estranged from our kin, cut off from our land,
Cut down in our prime, cut out of our hand.

We’ve been locked up and knocked up,
We’ve been docked and shocked.
We’ve been shut off from sunlight and chained to blocks.
We’ve been jammed in, rammed in, hemmed in and slammed in.
We’ve been managed and damaged, sandwiched in and crushed.

We’ve been force-fed and force-bled,
Medicated and sedated,
Pumped, plumped, and dumped with a diet of lead.

We’ve been shoved down and shackled and shunted along
They’ve put shutters on our minds
They shut up our songs.
They’ve shat upon and crapped upon us,
Zapped and sapped us of strength.
Hacked at us and wrapped us up on the butcher’s bench.

We’ve been corralled off and held off
And walled off in stalls.
We’ve been hauled off to the slaughterhouse
While we called out and bawled.

We’ve been rounded up and hounded, thrown around and knocked down.
We’ve been goaded and railroaded and loaded on trucks bound for town.
We’ve been towed and mowed under and snowed under with stress.
We’ve been stowed on the road where some are crushed to their death.
We’ve been jerked around and jarred, jostled and jammed.
We’ve been nabbed, grabbed and stabbed, jabbed and slammed.
We’ve been bullied and sullied, worried and hurried.
We’ve been harangued and hampered, clamped and penned.
We’ve been left perturbed and disturbed, in turmoil and trouble.
We’ve been seized with disease, left confused and muddled.
We’ve been left needing medicine, food and water.
We’ve been mauled and tortured, slaughtered and quartered.
We’ve been knocked and socked, clocked, bopped, whopped, and dropped.
We’ve been topped and lopped, sliced up and chopped.
Our blood been mopped up, our bodies sent to the shops.

What wild dream did you have for your life?
What fanciful fantasy did you feel you possessed?
What hope for a good life did you feel you had lost
Been left bereft of, dispossessed?

We’ve been herded and bewildered, murdered and killed.
Stabbed and skewered, flamed and grilled.
We’ve been bludgeoned and bashed, lashed, broken and thrashed.
Smashed and gashed open, lives and hopes dashed.
We’ve been robbed and ransacked, ravaged and ruined.
Fleeced and plucked, sent to our doom.

We’ve been presumed and imposed upon
Opposed, and suppressed,
Deposed, dispossessed, truly oppressed.

While you’re inundated with inanity,
Your sanity seems more like vanity.
How can you call yourselves humanity?

29 – 1 -2011

My World (1980)

I fought on the wind that began before time
In the beginning it wasn’t this way.
But now the risks I take are all mine
And I alone reap the pay.
The cry of the wild, the effortless climb
The speed relative to none:
These are the qualities I want to find,
The careless risk of waking up blind
If only to look at the sun.
The relationships too difficult to grasp,
Of self-seeking people among
Whom I’m left in a world of my own with the task
Of having to reach their one.
If only so I have this paper to show
That I think like all the others.
Well, you won’t find me there, I’m enjoying the air
Of my world, their ideals, it smothers.

 

1980

 

Cancer

Right, you got me off the mark fast and furious:
You bring to mind the word ‘canker’:
n. 1. An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips:
That’s fine, by chance I have that at the moment:
Stress-related, embarrassing, but at least it’s not going to kill me.

n. 2. An area of dead or decaying tissue in a plant surrounded by healthy wood or bark.
That’s more like it. I always found that fascinating, that trees had dead parts next to live.
Are you then the canker of the human world, the dead we tolerate among the living?
No, you are worse, the dead that presumes to be alive,
The fool haunting our world not seeing the light.

n. 3 & 4. Any of several animal diseases attacking especially the ears of dogs and cats.
Any source of spreading corruption or debilitation.
Dogs and cats are sensitive creatures, their ears burn with your lies.
You are corruption, corrupt, bankrupt, broken to pieces, entropy,
Infesting others, investing others, wanting them to mirror your lie.

Cancer, the crab, crustacean, carapace over cephalothorax. Carcinoma, creeping ulcer.
Clutching with claws your hold on our lives, demon of material realms.
Malignant tumour caused by the abnormal division of cells, invading surrounding tissues.
Blind materiality. Carcinomatosis – n. the existence of carcinomas at many bodily sites.
Ah, but epiclesis – the call to the Holy Spirit to turn bread and wine into body and blood of Christ.

We will name you, Cancer. We will address you by all your names.
We will learn the words to hold our power against you.
Even if cancroid – adj. 1. similar to a cancer 2. similar to a crab – we will know you and see you.
Our call is life, of the living, to the Life Force, to consecrate again our daily bread of life.
The transubstantiation of the Eucharist is more a miracle than your self-making.

Take this bread and wine and make it known to us as human flesh in kinship with the divine.
Anull in us the pernicious notion that this body can mutate in darkness by its own.
From the ouroboric ovum of a single cell, to the birth of a baby with 20 million million cells,
And the universe of 50 million million cells in adulthood, we are the united light.
Lend us the language of metaphor – it is body and blood because we pray and say it is.
  
3 – 2 – 2007

No Still Life

This spirit then.
Licentiousness of the artist.
Overture, sheer determination
To give meaning to possibility.
A film about Picasso.
And now, dying lilies in the vase.
Where does the life reach to in them
As they are withered by the sun,
That once drew them forward in childhood?
Each parched petal a thirsty tongue,
Purple flame, dog-earred, panting.
Reaching out to the atmosphere in hope.
My body itches where my shirt
Tucks into my trousers.
Picasso wore a belt, white trousers,
Red shirt. Blinking eyes unbelieving
That he must make his own universe.
Ideogogue, circus master, well-formed
Rehearsals in canvas and the necessity
Of paint to pronounce and punctuate.
Sheer fortitude. Restless and responsive.
No still life.

Smokescreen

Candlewax drips in a sudden profusion.
Flame crippled drops as it splutters confusion.
Now strikes up again with a red-enraged hand.
Slaps some smoke as it smotes to create a diversion.
Lake of wax fills again under burning desire.
Settles deep in the heat in retreat from the fire.
Fomenting rebellion as its twists in the torment.
Til the wall’s rent anew and it runs til it tires.
So too does this wounding seek its natural discharge.
The curse bursts its banks and drains me of courage.
If I falter I’ve fallen and soon comes the blame.
If I rage to recover remember
Through screen of smoke heals the flame.
  
14 – 2 – 05

 

Rage

We hated those men then,
With all we could muster,
Who bore down above us,
With blades bloody-lustred.
Who tore us from land,
And forced us here into danger,
Where the heart beats on fire
At the hands of a stranger.

In our rage we were hardened,
To confront the dark lords,
Those steel eyes of requirement
To submit to their swords.
Though our hearts lay wide open
To the rivers of blood,
In our anger-filled frames,
We were as large as the gods.

And our chests grew like furnaces
Roaring with logs,
And our cries were the ravings
Of wolves and wild dogs.
And our teeth showed their edges,
And our brows ran with sweat,
As we fixed on our foe,
And knew blood must be let.

In a wave of defiance,
We ran forward to fight.
And our fierce pride dared them
To question our might.
Arms and hearts reaching upwards,
We exploded in red,
Yet our anger declared
We’ll not be of the dead.

For our hearts harboured children,
And wives and kinfolk.
In our crazed cries of courage,
It was for them that we spoke.
So we called on the gods
Of rage, weapons and war,
To put fire in our chests,
And burn brave evermore.

21 – 02 – 05

Rune

Ravenrage diabolus crucifix knife
Hungred hunted the throth bound remain.
Inkquire peatbog in lumen light
Whenced cry carren chillen in hand.
Yestered homeheart beat no moren fire.
Trackened marshwood their steps falterbear.
Morst to me now inthen grast the chillen carren
Carren cross sarnt the night naughts to them.
Weast hathoer owne abiden book resplayn.
Tays the stories woven webs o oer clayin.
Noed need orsfor hammer sin crossbladen book.
Curn in deathmartyrs throes aftine crust masters cruik.
Callered light crowerd cowl beats ashame.
Moren men suchas like wi no name.
Send tha hundread ahunt ferus here.
Thas wimin carren chillen in theys nayre ayear
Theysorl carryairn sweet dearones agin.
Romen crossern nayst acallered them in.
Ahd curlin acornkindred moon enda myne.
Adepped as asleept in nowre plumered clouerwine.
Cries onye thaes noosehaltered hounds.
Nae sons daughters wies owre’en us thattheys bound
Will gead wyrds to thae cawr book.
Thaes hang deatheyes ofteare kindred avain.
Ours alongain runningean faers a’ wimin
Eyn carreyn chirren weast towr remain.

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Revision as a ‘Translation’, 26 May, 2018:

Rage Rune (‘Rune’ (revision)

Ravenrage diabolus crucifix knife
(Middle Ages heathen/pagan/country folk angry at Christianity’s invasive force)

Hungred hunted the throth bound remain.
(We bound by the truth have been hunted and are hungry)

Inkquire peatbog in lumen light
(Exiled to peat bogs and dim marshes, and have cause to question fate)

Whenced cry carren chillen in hand.
(Where and how are our distant children carried by their mothers?)

Yestered homeheart beat no moren fire.
(Yesterday’s – times of yore – homes are no longer lit with hearthfires)

Trackened marshwood their steps falterbear.
(Tracked and hunted in the marshes, their feet falter, then they bear up again)

Morst to me now inthen grast the chillen carren
(It has been my experience too at times, to take the children, carry them)

Carren cross sarnt the night naughts to them.
(It is nothing to these children, this cross that you carry)

Weast hathoer owne abiden book resplayn.
(We have our own resplendid and holy book that abides with us)

Tays the stories woven webs o oer clayin.
(It tells the stories our ancestors have woven over many generations)

Noed need orsfor hammer sin crossbladen book.
(We have no need for a hammer and crossblade-laden book)

Curn in deathmartyrs throes aftine crust masters cruik.
(Churned out from the death of martyrs and the high priests’ crooked power)

Callered light crowerd cowl beats ashame.
(Many meanings: Our light may be diminished under cowls of darkness, we may seem like cowering crowds, cowards, but the hallowed light glints on our beaks like dark crows of light all the same…)

Moren men suchas like wi no name.
(And there are many more men such as us who have been robbed of good name)

Send tha hundread ahunt ferus here.
(So send you a hundred or more to hunt for us – the feral – here)

Thas wimin carren chillen in theys nayre ayear
(Those/these women have carried their children like refugees for nearly a year)

Theysorl carryairn sweet dearones agin.
(They – those all – will carry all their dear sweet ones again)

Romen crossern nayst acallered them in.
(This Roman Empire religion of the Cross won’t call/collar/corral them in)

Ahd curlin acornkindred moon enda myne.
(And I’ve curled under the trees and moon with my kind wife and my children/kin)

Adepped as asleept in nowre plumered clouerwine.
(Adept as I, as they have slept peacefully in our plumed and plum red clear and coloured wine of dreamtime)

Cries onye thaes noosehaltered hounds.
(Cry on all those of your death-serving tracking hounddogs)

Nae sons daughters wies owre’en us thattheys bound
(No sons or daughter or wives of ours – or us – that you might catch and bind)

Will gead wyrds to thae cawr book.
(Will give/cede words to your (thy) coward’s book)

Thaes hang deatheyes ofteare kindred avain.
(Yes, you hang and give death eyes to our dear kin in vain)

Ours alongain runningean faers a’ wimin
(Our a-long-time running and gaining ancient fair ones (faery children) and women)

Eyn carreyn chirren weast towr remain.
(Who have always carried the children will always – in the west tower – remain)