It all begins in a nursery. It all begins when all the baby boys are stolen and taken away to learn how to live life by dying. They’re shackled within a great building to learn the propaganda of killing and tying their shoes. They’re taught love and death, war and peace. Every morning they say to their pale reflections “I love all the people I’ll kill.”
The rhythmical beating of their hearts was almost non-existent over the pounding of their feet against the concrete. They called themselves men but they were boys in their heads, their bodies were hard and beaten, yet they still sang old nursery rhymes under their heavy breath.
Oranges and lemons.
Say the bells of St Clements.
These were the men who were to take away the hearts and minds of the rest of the world by force. This was a mutated creature with two legs and two arms; nimble and deadly.
You owe me five farthings
Say the bells of St Martins
In its hands it held a gun, and on its feet it wore two boots. It walked with perfect rhythm and danced in a steady tempo. Any who saw such a beast trembled in fear, not wanting to tango with such a perfect lovechild of the industrial and technological revolutions.
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey
Mother Nature launched her own army of raindrops to stop the lurching beast; each drop did its part to weaken the body, yet it took no notice. Soaked to its iron bones, the creation of hate only stared intently on its bloody horizon.
When I grow rich
Say the bells of Shoreditch
Before the pawns sat their masters, sheltered and dry; the king, the queen, the clergy, the generals and the sergeants. Each with his or her own role to play in the war machine, they would turn a knob or crank a gear until the beast was as deadly as could be.
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney
The sergeants and generals saluted each man, dancing the rhetoric two-step and whispering things like “Land before life.” and “War is peace.” in their ears.
I’m sure I don’t know
Says the great bell at Bow The severed head of the church blessed each man, telling him that the Lord was on their side and that as long as they believed they would never die.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head
The King and Queen held hands as they told their subjects that each murder would not go unrewarded, for the country loved a man who could kill for freedom.
Chop chop chop chop the last man’s head!
So the boys went to the imaginary front lines to fight their invisible foes for their abstract freedom, and their feet quickly learned how to move in time with the gunfire. Their heels dug in the sand as they slowdanced until they could no more, and then they fell. Their ghosts floated into the burning unknown, as they sang their rhymes in a chorus among the sun, the stars and the satellites in space. Each glowing body smiled and them and shushed them until they were pacified and fell to sleep.
Oranges and lemons…
This is the story of a man who lives his lives on San Franciscan docks, asking people if they know where to find happiness.