Troubled Times

Stark, slow sunlight treads
Across moon-crater’s floor
And some dark corners are
Where no bright comes

The Earth in solace runs
But here in bitter dust and glare
Weeks long the stare
Weeks long the shadow turns

An echoing arena less than filled
White shadows stand to mark the missing ones
Who passed this way and somehow they were spilled
Saw sense or missed the beating of the drum

At the mike, MC – one grand Roman! A honeyed word
Drips from his lip to ease the pensive crowd:
“I love you people!” and “This is a great –“
He hastens offstage, secret in the murk

Stung half-awake now, passengers grow taut
And scrutinise this galaxy of fame
Some shut their eyes, while some apportion blame
But maybe none do quite the thing they ought

In the boathouse, songs are sung awry
“Row!” Land-lines once anchored strain and, stricken, part
A glimpse that loomed, horizon ominous with hope,
Gets blurred by mist… mistake… mistaken art

My trawl for facts perturbs Unlucky Jim
Post-Office learner-lockouts block the mail
Company cuts and buy-outs bypass him
Yet if he founder what else here may fail?

Two disappearing females lapse from view
Some conjuror it seems has whisked them hence!
No explanation given, none makes sense
But some let slip a poignant hint or two

“By George! A Lexan Derringer!”
Transparent hijack-means is clear
Such hard, though plastic, hollow
Epithets leave ringing in the ear

The Emperor of Japan lay down the law
But now it seems the lesson’s taught to him
Yet how much paid and who it’s been paid for
Shall ne’er be told; such is their lesson grim

Nor has a former shepherdess been ranked
An elder – though such ladies may exist,
It’s been decided – reason may be thanked
But too soon yet for wronged gal to insist

A shepherd leaves the flock and for a year
The salt shall flow to him, a-dwindling for
Twelve months. Yet we were told – before -
He left to start a new work not based here

A Charlie’s man, a scribe, says “We won’t tell;
Because we never did, we never will”
No word from them of whom the wallets swell
Nor unto whom the chattering of the till

False teaching’s tolerated. Messy Job!
A chasm, Art in Trench, must be infilled -
So he gets paid, regardless. Quench the sob
As Truth is beaten, Reason’s blood is spilled

They sit upon facts as if truth defiles
Like Rachel on the bags in Laban’s hunt.
Spurious notions fertile probing stunt.
Their camels tread too warily by miles

My doggedness they see as mutiny -
Imperious oppressors, as in days
Of Raj! On far rim, on dark nights
A lone wolf for the dear Earth bays

Here’s the funnel on which flow depends:
If I, on a far rim, on darkest night
Should summon wolves
Please count them as your friends

© 2010 armadillozenith/Graham Peter King

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This poem experimentally voices my personal feelings about a problematic real-life situation, by way of mixed dreamlike imagery and wordplay.
It has served as a way of expressing tensions, to relieve those; it is also a cryptic puzzle perhaps decipherable by the names involved;
but I have placed it here in case it is of interest stylistically as a poem for readers more generally.

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