ÉTUDE 95: Overtones

equally ominous, the loud bells from far away,
as the bombs fall, a bitter rain, drop after drop
of bile, the black slick of bad blood, dripping
from every corner of the mind, the mouth, and,
who knows, from every pore, the shore itself
stained, where the ancient waters wash in,
with every swell to sweep it all away again:
what to say, what flower pin to the lapel,
what place on the map to point to,
to find peace, spelt out in people, to each
their pause between life and death, their lifetime,
to each their term of longing, their right to song,
to the ultimate sadness:
in the dry room here, the white walls,
where the eyes write their wanderings, the ears,
trying to pierce the night, for some other sound,
some other light, to fall upon them all, some
less sick estrangement from the merest mercy,
some silencing of the bombs, of the distant bells,
and the loud, bloodstained peals of approval


Berlin November 2023

Ray Malone





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