The Walkers

More from my back catalog.

I’m glad to see that WordPress has upgraded its tools for publishing poetry. It used to be a bear to do it.

Has death undone so many? I would not have guessed.
The cars streaming unceasingly
lead to where we know not.
The walking dead have overrun the world,
their shuffling gait the rhythm of life,
feet scuffing on pavement, step after step,
instinct leading, thought banished, the base
appetite the only thing which matters.
I see them all, the swarm, the undifferentiated
mass, consuming all in its path,
as consumption is all that is left to it.
The dead outnumber the living,
count as the living, the living
the outcasts, the ones who are behind the times,
who are not living, but inconvenient,
with their insistence on what they call
“the real”, “the genuine”, the live.
When more and more are dead, they rule
the world, and it's so much easier to go
with what they say, to float down the river,
giving in, giving up, talking
and walking as the dead. If you can't beat them...
Why insist on life? To what purpose would
that serve? The time insists on what the time wills,
and one or the other individual
is no match for the time. If they say,
“This is”, then who are you, one person,
to gainsay it? What power do you think you have,
to stand athwart what must be, what
has been decided? The age of heroes
is past, and never existed anyway, pretty stories
told in halls of brutal warlords, lying to make
violence seem noble. “Sing to me, poet, of my
forebears” merely means “Tell me my murders
are not evil, and retell the great who came before me.”
Art is fabrication; sometimes it serves
what was known as truth; more often it serves
what is known as expediency.
O Lord, deliver me from those who think not as I do
O Lord, deliver me from those who speak not as I do
O Lord, deliver me from those who appear not as I do
O Lord, deliver me from those who believe not as I do
O Lord, deliver me from those who love not as I do
The dead shuffle past, on the way
to important meetings, grand dinners,
the latest entertainments. Cocooned in
scratchy wool they deem to be finest silk.
Do not wonder why they do; wonder when
you will as well. Yes, you will, and I will,
slip into the walking death; it's what's demanded.
Do you dare to say no? It won't last.
The dead are legion, and you are one.
Let's look at the sunset one last time,
over the world's edge,
as the day itself dies,
lying that there's rebirth after death.
It's such a pretty sight,
one final glance for eyes soon dead.

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