Pollution | A Poem by David Russell

A seedy world chugs along the locusts’ path,
Sterile and bedraggled.

Abrasive greed outstrips all poisons,
Piling tiers of death.

Vile ramparts, flouting Nature,
Compost’s rebuff, outlive the weak flowers

As if perverted oil
Clogged up the clean, arterial flow of life
To jar us with a fractured orbit.

Oh that the light from the moon could brain us!
Could we but inhale our eyesores
And vomit forth revulsion from neglect;

Oh: could we but deflect desires
From cursed and blinding foci
And with that broken wheel, true ploughshare
Dam all erosion, lashing filthy burrows!

Not yet – for hopes can only gel
Beyond our grasp;
Not yet – while we cruel anglers bait ourselves;
While with excess we glut excess
To make a false, round giddiness

Our self-conceited quicksand –
Drifting as we breathe.…

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Crack-Down Tribunal (Re Jack Straw’s ‘Community Treatment Orders’ for the Mentally Ill) | A Poem by David Russell

Borderline Personality Disorder –
Everybody welcome to the edge!
It’s the cripples’ convocation;
We’re the tin end of the wedge.

Rattling jars of medication cocktails,
Pinballs batted in eternal circles,
Listen to the words of wisdom:
“Do what they tell you; don’t ask questions;
Take what they give you, don’t ask question.”

It’s the Crack-Down Tribunal;
Of great sorrow be expectant.
Crack-Down Tribunal;
Governmental disinfectant!

Ever felt stuck with a discard label,
Shred of we rag in the midnight drizzle?
Hope comes shining through the cracks;
The flames rise high as the hiccups fizzle.

Ever hammered on a DSS perspex panel,
Been head on with some po-faced nerd
Who just can’t cope, so he ups the dosage;
Remember the voices that you heard –

Do you hear voices?
Do you hear voices?

It’s the Crack-Down Tribunal;
Of great sorrow be expectant.
Crack-Down Tribunal;
Governmental disinfectant!

When the hypocritical is hippocratic,
The autocratic gets automatic,
So you’d better get mentally acrobatic
And stuff your heads with anti-static!

It’s the Crack-Down Tribunal;
Of great sorrow be expectant.
Crack-Down Tribunal;
Governmental disinfectant!…

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The First Adventure | A Poem by David Russell

That shadowy entrance, subdued glint, spark of eyes!
You trod all cultures with your classic grace
Of posture, figure, profile

The breathy touch, so tentative,
The answering squeeze

All beams and tiptoes as we trod
Unspoken message:
“The dream’s come true”

The curtain nearly volunteered
To close itself.

I was poised to give the word;
Fired by our kisses, you took it from my mouth

Each garment spoke surrender as it fell
A flower-show of fabrics
Adoring those limbs which they had covered;
Warm air on new divested skin
Near liquid in its heady density

Our bodies new-revealed, dreamed up
A gallery of art-figures,
Our mounting breath
Kindled their animation in our honour

Those facing entities suffused with mutual nourishment

The rising sun the backcloth of our dual climax
The bathing epilogue
The farewell walk
A froth of blossom round our tender steps

That fleeting perfection was the purest art
Framed in an idyllic memory.…

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With Respect to the Whale | A Poem by David Russell

Oh, man – foul carnivore!
Gorging beyond all need for sustenance,
Gorging beyond even your body’s bounds!

And is this a fixation on your prey,
A lust for prey-communion?
Willing your own, final annihilation
By turning into quarry
That great, that fine, that more than any beast;
Sea-mammal – in its form a synthesis of elements,
Model of global harmony,
Sea-mammal – its pure song of sight and touch
A blending of all sense, beyond man’s symbols.

Oh, man! Knowing yourself so small,
Are you in full immersion lost
In dental agony of harpoon barbs,
Asphyxiate in quicksand blubber?

Or, in false striving
To cheat the others of fair depths
Would you burst, flounder, cast up useless bones
Sick binder for your film
Of mineral perversion?

Oh you, that made of noble forms
Cheap factories, demolished in a day
For pulp, for ballast in the supermarket
Without the dignity
Of geriatrics’ corsets;

Oh you, who pay mock homage
To rare or extinct species
Behind museums’ glass, in research confines
To rare or extinct species – know your vanity!

Know that the see-through panel
That seals rare specimens from mundane soiling
Is to yourselves a mirror! There your end . . .

With one proviso – when your vile exertions
At last become fulfilled among yourselves
And you mere cinder-blistered slime

No species that survives will honour you;
In all your seeming strength your final weakness
Cutting your lifelines with your every grab
For further power and satiation.

The time to halt is now; let live and know –
Abjure corrupt proliferation, grow
In numbers’ confines, species’ truest bounds.

Break down the elements, split them
To non-existence;
Then shatter all solidity’s illusions,
Free impulses
Beyond the viscous mind, still feeling hard
By vanity’s gas upholstered.

And then, for happiness’s definition,
Shut the door;
Relax, and don’t be squeamish;
For every grit of teeth, a pull of trigger,
A sear, a cloud . . .

Then, if the bacillus, the charge
Breaks through even your filter-screen,
Then paper barrier that defines
Your victims and yourselves . . .

And you, amoebae, become specimens
Now that your brainchild ogres
Have outstepped the frames of will;

Oh super-brains! Limp, flapping squids;
Now that you’ve burst your cranial cannisters,
Now that you’ve blundered on the combination
To open up the vault
Wherein you case your muffled
to soothing, doped oblivion;

Did you …

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Checkpoint | A Poem by David Russell

Lurching, they bluster – ghouls into the chasm.

Fierce lava, blowing, nullifies their fall
And dissipates harsh gravity’s concussion,
Forces a seething screen of phoenix cowardice,
Leaping to swell
Into a fresh, mendacious crust,
Tripping and throttling the led
Into a smear upon pure metamorphic beauty.

The skeleton’s jaws yawn apart;
A stranded mountaineer was frozen
At his prime pinnacle,
Denied warm, compromised decay;
A calcium landmark now, but broken loose;
A boulder never neutral
To those in fear.

One gouged and bored –
New Sisyphus, with ever-sinking aspiration
For no stress, no fall –
For him the indefatigable light
Breathes limbo silicosis.

Can they combine? Eternity transcends the cheap ideal
Of mutual obliteration.

A mountaineer trapped in a submarine,
A miner in a satellite,
A megalomaniac performing his own precious lobotomy
Hoping the abolished question mark
Can keep things safe and solid.

Purgation’s smudged when bound to fire,
Denied release from fizzy process,
And even air can clog and sludge
The ultimate suction of life’s syllables
Into fatuous pinprick stars,

No line can break full circle.…

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