Cream of the crop

It wasn’t Spain, the UK, France or USA
It was their damaged, wanting, top-skimmed sons
Tangentially projected, deliberately dislocated,
Craving heroism, careering off the gently curving path.

Self possessed, high powered, laser-bright, half-blind
Over-reaching, never-reaching.
Compelled to incorporate the ever-stretching view
Their reward its title on some plinth or keystone

They broadcast weighty, bass-flat keynotes, artificially amplified,
To force-tune the diversity of harmonies beneath
Into obedient monotones.

It takes a certain determination to tame the wild, unnamed exuberance
Of nature’s wanton rhythms; to specify that
They are anvil-beaten into measured, lockstep uniformity.

These smart schooled boys of ours — part-people, pained,
Starved by their own terror
Of the satisfaction of returning home humbled —
Pay forward their open wounds for their fledgling sons to feed,
Ensuring the continuation of the line.

No downward glances at the deepening dark beneath
As empire’s razor-sharpened bleeding edge trawls on and round
To eventually meet its shadow on the other side.
There will be no choice then but to swallow self and reconcile:

It was not, alas, the nation, nor the flag; not the people nor their creed.
Not the era nor technology that’s to blame, but the scar itself,
Its bearers of privilege mis-programmed to go forth and multiply it
Their legacy a red-hot replicating baton in a relay race to the core.

Written on impulse, with interesting timing, as it serves well to mark this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

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