{Wed 28 February 2007}   Leadership

Last night I was browsing through some of my thought-blurts and almost-poems and found this picture-poem combination. I recalled that I had been in a workshop where I made the picture first in response to some classical music (unfortunately, I forget which now) and then the poem in response to the picture. One of the things I couldn’t decide was which way up I preferred the picture, so that’s part of the theme!

One day this may become a standalone poem, but it needs further development. There’s just something about it that I like… I hope there’s enough here to catch your imagination too.

Sword of Damocles AboveSword of Damocles


Am I emergent or exhumed,
Birthed or rebirthed,
Now dangling below,
Now arched above
Damocles’ sword?

With hair root-startled
And sucked-in stomach,
Breath whisked away
By words yet unformed,
Briefly balanced,
But naked,
In thought’s blue waters,

Is it with rhythm and poise
Or by sweet accident
That I somersault
(am catapulted)
over today’s death?

Do I swim under that sword,
Or is it beneath me?
Is this my dagger that I see before me?
No matter.
Tomorrow, a thousand deaths await me.

{Wed 7 February 2007}   OntheDeathof Saddam Hussein
On the Death of Saddam Hussein
– A Response to “Damn-Sad” by Ian Reed

When musing on the myriad ways to die
We often fail to challenge our own lie
That others’ deaths are distant from our own
And we’ll be graced with mercy we’ve not shown.

His death becomes not him, nor one of us.
It rather bursts the boil of poisoned pus
That festers in our mind beneath the sham
Of righteousness we keep up in our scam.

Pretending love and truth are ours to know
And teach and judge and finally bestow,
We claim a seat on heaven’s judgment bench
While seraphs recoil at our ghastly stench.

“Who sheds the blood of man,” the prophet said,
“By man his blood is always to be shed.”
But can you see an end of peace in this?
The prophet saw the worst of our abyss,

But did his words prescribe, or only show
The depths we’d sink to, blow for vengeful blow,
If pain and loss and fear remained our measure
Instead of hope in god-shaped humans’ treasure?

What purpose holds the prophet’s role or mine
If we can only speak, observe, enshrine
The status quo? This must not be our goal!
Transcend what was and is with “Will be whole!”

et cetera