I Saw The Lights Go Down On Vivid Lines Written For Heart's Ease - Poem by mary douglas
I saw the lights go down on vivid lines written for heart's ease
and not to please the kings, the courts I saw the curtain close
and my soul on oblivious waters: ships without sails, clouds
without moons, music leaving the rooms forever.
caw like this like this the crows told the children of Eden
seizing the stage, darkening the skies, removing the
shine from apples, stars, blossoms...
He decreed in love, and for love's sake, alone
we're losing time, mourned the tappers on their keys
productively, and minimizing, mimicing laconically
filling the moat with tears and no one could cross over;
filling the coffers of their circuses. what is gold said the Soul you shifted out of sight in your modernity to please
the new kings and their courts, you thieves-
to burnish your spot in the spotlight
how you've kept up with trends.
but some remember:
there's one more spinning wheel in the kingdom;
words were cherished once, we will defend defend
the lovely prayers you say, unsay
but Keats said ' as if a rose should shut and
be a bud again', our flowering language cannot
be unsaid though you have stripped the
elaborate Tree and poets left for dead who
died for Truth or Beauty, it's the same said
Emily whom you have shamed
and opened the dungeons for those
you banned from your magazines, your wilting coteries-
who loved these banished snows, the bright veil lifted
over the Unseen, the mysteries, the lavish dreamed.
now forward thinking teachers scold when we quote them,
critics mock, you're not accessible
but they were lent by saints who went before.
what have you done with them?
who let you through the door and
where have you thrown them overboard
I cried, alone, bereft-
oh what is your disease they said
because I mourned diminished Beauty
nobility trod down. regardless, I raved on
they're murderers ringing the curtain down
and locking up the Muse, key in their pocket,
and winning awards for this?
-and those of us who know what you have done:
decry decry- until we die
your buying up of the bruised wings
and selling, selling everything
making a splash and not in Icarian seas...
mary angela douglas 26 august 2014
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