Thursday, 1 May 2014

'The Drownproof Men'


Arabesque shape of light

between those trees

contains everything that is coming

& everything that has been

including the falling bodies

which are still falling

& will always be falling

& you –

carte blanche terror-franchise

delivery man

who grinningly caught the jock

pants down -

with your appropriated beard of

Islamic fire & brimstone

burning with reasons

& devoted volunteers.

our wake-up coffee?

two lumps of payback?

you’re like a weird, old time schoolmaster

airing his fetid, curriculum daydreams

in public,

splashing around happily in the Ground Zero

tar pit –

the perfect cave man for the

new millennium.

& we made you ourselves –

our geo-political bogie man

who “loves death!”

can we touch you?

will you bite or spit?

shall we meet at an embassy, marketplace

or night club?

we listened to your spooky static

saw your fuzzy face on the terror

news feed –

the media’s special boy.

but what have you really taught our children?

that sarin gas smells like juicy fruit gum?

they’d rather smash piñata effigies of you

& kill you again & again

in games & games,

bid for your hair & skin

on ebay.

is it a good feeling – the ignition

of fresh blood in the earth?

it was an eerie tune – a single cutting note of

piano wire around the fat necks

of the dumb.

there were wonderful, demolition artefacts

scary extrapolations

teeming paranoia -

just a world-famous example of what governments

have always hidden?

well done,

gun-to-the-head man!

MTV’s video

of the decade award is yours.

but, were virgins really waiting

in the afterlife?

you certainly put a chill up the spine

of Bud & Coke drinkers everywhere -

getting spoiled, greedy little families

to move continents

& sleep in global fear.

everyone hates a smug politician –

but you broke the golden rule:

don’t kill the nice folk.

you parted those decadent, oily waters

like a prophet for the times

& watched the enemy rush straight in -

but you couldn’t really control those waters.

they rushed back

icy & cold, over all our heads

& the drownproof men are coming.

Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts is a father and primary school teacher, currently working in Jakarta, Indonesia. MC at Auckland’s “PoetryLive” 2011-2012 and regularly appeared at spoken word events. He has also read his work in Texas (USA) & Jakarta (Indonesia). His work has been published in New Zealand, Indonesia, and USA.