Tuesday, 12 February 2013

All Hallows E'en

The clocks stand still.
Time awaits the presence of the dead;
for whom time is no more.
Up from their graves,
sad souls arise;
restless and forlorn,
gruesome and grim,
unshriven and bereft of hope.
One night of scarce half-life
in a year lost to their ken.
The clocks stand still.

Children laugh, unaware of danger.
For them Samhain is a frolic.
They dress as witch and warlock,
dance widdishins
and call on Old Nick,
reckless of all meaning;
for their lives have no meaning.

They know nothing
of the grave’s clammy embrace;
of death’s cruel finality.
Their schooling
has exorcised their thinking.
Incessant marketing babble
has dulled their loving,
and spinning political messages
have eroded their trusting.

Old folk cower behind curtains,
dreading the door knock,
the knell of the bell:
“Trick or treat – what’s it to be?”
No-one calls otherwise,
in this land without friendship:
where cities are anonymous
and harbour no neighbours,
just ghosts;
where fear and hate hold sway:
fear of paedophile and rapist,
suspicion of Paki and Yid,
hatred of asylum-seeker
and queer.

We the living
are more truly
the dead,
or will soon be zombies;
if we do not bestir ourselves
from our self-satisfied slumber.

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