#WADOD – Day 8: March 8th 2019

Works and Days of Division – 29 poems by Martyn Crucefix

Drawing on two disparate sources, this sequence of mongrel-bred poems has been written to respond to the historical moment in this most disunited kingdom. Hesiod’s Works and Days – probably the oldest poem in the Western canon – is a poem driven by a dispute between brothers. The so-called vacana poems originate in the bhakti religious protest movements in 10-12th century India. Through plain language, repetition and refrain, they offer praise to the god, Siva, though they also express personal anger, puzzlement, even despair. Dear reader – if you like what you find here, please share the poems as widely as you can (no copyright restrictions). Or follow this blog for future postings. Bridges need building.

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Friday 8.03.2019

‘he thought of this time’

 

he thought of this time as the fifth age

that he’d be better off dead or not yet born

working all day he would fear the night

had heard of children born prematurely grey

and the fraying bond between fathers

and sons between mothers and daughters

between host and guest between different races

between brother and cast-off brother

at best fighting over their inheritance

no honour for the old but insult and envy

in place of pity the once-opened hand

now closed to a swung fist any oath kept

now a laughing stock opinions revised

branded plain betrayal while the hopeless

are advanced and further advancement

lavished for no more than just chancing it

respect a word more spoken than heard

the educated full of acid cleverness

and compassion the greatest of virtues

is an ebbing tide see where it glints

on the horizon just a glimpse a trace

of dull-gleaming difference above the dunes

a hawk stoops to take a songbird laughing

why shriek and twitter out of weakness

you puff-ball you it’s your feebleness

you draw attention to your lack of choice

if you play with power you will get hurt

just yourself to blame for gaining nothing

but new varieties of personal shame

for which nobody has any sympathy

so for hours my father went on shrieking

like a hawk to a songbird in the fifth age

 

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