Thursday, 31 December 2009

'When I'm dead you can turn me into catfood'

Bury my bones in plywood
And set my box ablaze;
Then cast me free
On the open seas,
So I may finally take my ease
And drift to where I damn well please:
A beacon for forgotten days.

Bury my bones in plywood
And scrape my skeleton clean;
So feline things
Can feast like kings
On brains and brawn and crackerlings.
Then stick the labels on the theatre wings
To remember where I’ve been.

Bury my bones in plywood,
Or maybe MDF;
Then hammer me in
With nails of tin,
My face composed in a rictus grin,
Or stick my corpse in a compost bin:
A happy, slow, productive death.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Devil is Dead

December 6th 1865. The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution is adopted, abolishing slavery.

Ding, dong, the Devil's in pain,
The Devil's in pain, the Devil's in pain:
They burnt his whip and broke his chains.
At least, that's what they're saying.

Ding, dong, the Devil is dead,
The Devil is dead, the Devil is dead:
They beat him and cut off his head.
At least, that's what I read.

Ding, dong, the Devil is gone,
The Devil is gone, the Devil is gone:
The children sing a freedom song.
But his hatred lingers on.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Love is the Law

December 5th 2005. The Civil Partnership Act comes into force in the United Kingdom.

Love who you can,
Not who they plan;
Love who you may,
Not who they say;
Love who you will,
For good or ill;
Love who you would,
When love feels good.

And love for love's sake,
Not for propriety
Or the wisdom of ages,
But for the love of what is true.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

There was a Jeremiah

December 4th 1639. Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first known observation of a transit of Venus.

There was a Jeremiah in the Bible
Who drove his truck to Israel and Judah;
Who warned of false Gods, false Prophets
And the true wrath of the Lord.
Who for his pains was beaten, imprisoned, threatened with death
And thrown into a cistern.

But you prophesied beauty,
And watched as love drove her carriage across the sun.
And for your pains you died an early death, an incalculable loss,
And were forgotten.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Thursday, 3 December 2009

For Denise

December 3rd 1967. Christiaan Barnard performs the first human-to-human heart transplant.

I lost my heart to Christiaan,
He took it with a smile,
Then passed it on to Louis,
Who kept it for a while.
I lost my mind in Cape Town,
Whilst laid out on the rack;
I left my heart in Cape Town
And will never get it back.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

The Axeman Cometh

December 2nd 1942. The first man-made nuclear chain reaction is achieved in Chicago.

When Leo and Enrico come to play,
The other boys and girls all run away;
It's not rackets that they're after,
But the sound of insane laughter,
As the predatory birds begin to pray.

When Leo and Enrico fetch their axe,
There's no time for anybody to relax;
The other kids all scram,
And it's wham, bam, thank you ma'am,
As the fat controller fills in all the cracks.

When Leo and Enrico take the field,
You know that they will be the first to yield;
The other children weep,
The other children sleep,
Behind the promise of a poisoned shield.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

South of Sixty

December 1st 1959. Twelve countries sign the Antarctic Treaty.

South of sixty, north of ninety:
Where no birds fly and no whales blow,
But for the betterment of all, they said,
But for the betterment of twelve.

Springmelt for a cold, cold conflict:
Beyond the reach of practice,
Into the realms of theory,
Into the jaws of jurisprudence.

And six hundred moons since:
The ice has thawed,
The ice has broken,
The ice has frozen.

Russell J Turner - December 2009