The Lasting Hour

these are the small quiet 
hours when the light is pale, 
barely born, and the streets 
are quiet -

images on the TV of statesmanship
and poverty, platitudes
and cruelty, the unequal
grin, bright facile hands waving

Where have we come from
the clubbed cave, the 
animal blood, the 
beasts lowing and the

carcasses piling - the funeral pyres 
stunk to high heaven - we 
watched them burn and 
said nothing, no dirge was

raised for their quiet 
docile eyes - despicable 
and despised, man goes 
on hacking and burning

anything at all - 
whatever is in the 
way, yet recently 
by co-operation

and much care 
we sent a machine 
to Mars to 
taste the dust there

to bring us back 
some silence filched 
from space and 
measured by a wave

of numbers - sometimes 
the only language 
our tongues tell 
spinning as we are

on nothing 
hanging here by a 
thread as if all things 
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