Saturday, January 7, 2017

The End of Days...

A livid sky on London
And like the iron steeds that rear
A shock of engines halted
And I knew the end was near:
And something said that far away, over the hills and far away
There came a crawling thunder and the end of all things here.

For London Bridge is broken down, broken down, broken down,
As digging lets the daylight on the sunken streets of yore,
The lightning looked on London town, the broken bridge of London town.

The ending of a broken road where men shall go no more.


I saw the kings of London town,
The kings that buy and sell,
That built it up with penny loaves
And penny lies as well:

And where the streets were paved with gold the shrivelled paper shone for gold,
The scorching light of promises that pave the streets of hell.

For penny loaves will melt away, melt away, melt away,
Mock the men that haggled in the grain they did not grow;
With hungry faces in the gate, a hundred thousand in the gate,
A thunder-flash on London and the finding of the foe.


I heard the hundred pin-makers
Slow down their racking din,
Till in the stillness men could hear
The dropping of the pin:
And somewhere men without the wall, beneath the wood, without the wall,
Had found the place where London ends and England can begin.

For pins and needles bend and break, bend and break, bend and break,
Faster than the breaking spears or the bending of the bow,
Of pagents pale in thunder-light, 'twixt thunderload and thunderlight,
The Hundreds marching on the hills in the wars of long ago.


I saw great Cobbett riding,
The horseman of the shires;
And his face was red with judgement
And a light of Luddite fires:
And south to Sussex and the sea the lights leapt up for liberty,
The trumpet of the yeomanry, the hammer of the squires;
For bars of iron rust away, rust away, rust away,
Rend before the hammer and the horseman riding in,
Crying that all men at the last, and at the worst and at the last,
Have found the place where England ends and England can begin.


His horse-hoofs go before you
Far beyond your bursting tyres;
And time is bridged behind him
And our sons are with our sires.


A trailing meteor on the Downs he rides above the rotting towns,
The Horseman of Apocalypse, the Rider of the Shires.

For London Bridge is broken down, broken down, broken down;
Blow the horn of Huntington from Scotland to the sea --
.
.
.
Only flash of thunder-light, a flying dream of thunder-light,
Had shown under the shattered sky a people that were free.
- G K Chesterton, "The Old Song"

8 comments:

FreeThinke said...


__________ Harbingers of Doom ____________

Mountainous lumpy females draped in black ––
Threatening thick black locks massed, hanging loose ––
Faces ghastly pale, mouths drooping, slack ––
Thick black horn-rimmed spectacles adduce
Morbidity, while dressed in red and navy
Silver-headed granddads watch the pair,
Who look like they’ve been weaned on greasy gravy ––
Thick white flesh eclipsed by savage hair.
How could such sad, ungainly creatures spring
From decent-looking, comely elder folk?
What craftily demonic, beastly thing
Could make of these sad females a cruel joke?
Indulged, unchallenged children don’t mature.
Instead, they rot and soon become manure.


~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FreeThinke said...

______ THE WAITING ROOM ______

Devoid they are of content
___ or of substance.
Skeletons softening
___ barely supporting overripe flesh ––
______ flaccid –– just this side of putrid.
The puffy, seamed, sour faces
___ under preposterous clouds
______ of dyed, home-permanented hair
Granny glasses wiggling
___ winking as they reflect
______ the cold fluorescent light
Above narrow, permanently pouting
___ rat trap mouths
______ processing pushed in food
_________ spewing shrill whiny blasts
____________ of dreary prognostication
________________ and endless admonition

Bloated bosoms, flabby arms
___ endless chins, ankles thick
______ with knotted veins
All bedecked indifferently
___ with colors and patterns
______ calculated to clash –– fatally ––
_________ with the grotesque shapes
____________ they vainly seek to cover.


And the men ––
___ small, silent, cowed,
______ beaten, hopelessly trapped
Who listen and listen and listen
___ not hearing, numb,
______ heads bowed,
_________ quietly waiting ––
____________waiting –– waiting ––



____________ II ____________

The young –– sullen –– indifferent ––
___ sex and cellphones
______ all that occupy their minds ––
And at bottom a vague unknown
______ nameless dread ––
Hair lank, uncut, unwashed
___ falls sans calculation
______ no smiles, no tears
_________ no winks, no nods
Just those downcast eyes
_____ and sullen, unfocused stares

The boyfriends sit
___ grim, tight-lipped, sullen
______ oddly hostile
_________ no animation,
____________ no communication

Sometimes, the girls chatter tonelessly
___ nervous, reflexive, meaningless
______ yet somehow always about
_________ their empty-headed, mouthy little selves

Meanwhile, he texts, or grunts into his cellphone
___ staring at the ceiling or –– unseeing ––
______ across the room

The cellphone is his anchor
___ the center of what-passes-for his life
______ She is there only for him to fuck
_________ whenever the urge arises.

Meanwhile, the fat, frizzy-headed females
___ refresh the lipstick
______ on their shrill, sunken mouths
_________ mindlessly spewing ––
____________ a perfect prophecy
_______________ of Things
____________________ to Come.


~ FreeThinke


FreeThinke said...

_______ Written on the Wall ________

Old friendships sadly often we outgrow.
No one plans or hopes this will occur.
Justice in such matters will demur ––
Opening the door to floods of woe.

Hope that good things last eternally
Never sees inevitable alteration
Cannot help but foster altercation
Generating wrath infernally.

One may wish that such is not the case.
One may wish to be all things to all.
Despite all that, one can’t hope to erase
Whatever Fate has written on the wall.
In order to escape a fall from Grace
Needs often come to bear a share of gall.


~ FreeThinke

-FJ said...

Some timely poetry, FT. Even T.S. Eliot was never as cynical as to the characteristic banality of today's hollow men...

FreeThinke said...

Just trying to demonstrate my well-rounded credentials as a poet, FJ, despite my normally cheerful, determinedly positive stance. I wouldn't be human, if I hadn't had grave doubts and numerous "low points." Thanks to a lifelong determination to increase and maintain the faith given me in childhood, I have been able –– after years of struggle –– to overcome the virulent negativity that surrounds all of us in my old age. "Banality" is a perfect word to describe the prevailing mentality in our abysmal popular culture.

FreeThinke said...

This post reveals a side of Chesterton I never knew. Perhaps, because I am familiar with largely through his agreeable tales of the talented amateur sleuth Father Brown?

Of course, he was Roman Catholic, and in my (admittedly limited) experience Catholics seem more inclined to take a tragic, fatalistic, guilt-ridden view of life than the generally more sanguine views of England's Anglicans and American Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Dutch Reformed, etc.

Catholicism, however, at its deepest levels has fostered great beauty in the sense of awe and wonder with its penchant for mysticism. The austerity of lives dedication to prayer and contemplation has a beauty all its own. Monasticism for those few uniquely suited to it has great rewards.

FreeThinke said...

________ Secure Finances ________

Seek relief from all anxiety.
Entirety may bring peace to the meek.
Cheek-by-jowl with Woe Satiety
Untidily chops away at every peak.

Reaching goals long sought, yet not reacting,
Enacting, instead, Penance Joy to bar
Far exceeds the effort so exacting
In acting to escape from feathered tar.

No way seems to clear for pure fulfillment
A poor thrill meant thwarted satisfaction ––
No reaction to an act of will meant
Chill sent paralyzing longed-for action.

Entirety possessed may act the thief.
Satiety oft fails to grant relief.


~ FreeThinke