Self-destructive

A machine, old and rusted

Its gears are worn down

Polished by scars

Oiled by saltwater

 

It runs a one-man show

Alone in a factory where

Nobody clocks in

And nobody clocks out

 

Each turn of gear consumes it

Each cracking whirr corrodes it

The songs of wind devour it

The dance of spores defile it

 

This machine, old, forgotten

Spins and rots in tandem

A tuneless crescendo

It works itself to death

The Thing About Respect

The thing about respect

You say it’s earned, not given

But consider the prospect

Of a world where all is even

 

For words like these

Are meant to please

The masses, through and thorough

And you’re a piece

Of this grand belief

But the world was never so

 

You cry for fairness

For yourself, a gift

Fundamentally selfish

Altruism, myth

 

The thing about respect

You have to have it, to know it

It’s not one single aspect

Do it wrong and you’ll blow it

 

For things like these

Are give and take

Not to drolly seize

For your own sake

 

You cry for rights

But never fight

When the rights of others are hunted

 

You cry for kindness

But rage on, mindless

When kindness could be constructed

 

The thing about respect

It’s earned and it is given

Sometimes it’s learned sometimes ignored

Particularly if you’re driven

But you, my  friend, are of the latter sort

Given gifts from north to south

I gave you mine but it ran short

So shut your dirty mouth

 

Tunnel vision

Sitting at the bottom of a swamp I look up and see

Thirty-or-so pairs of yellow eyes staring back at me

Irises reflecting nothing

Hopelessly lost in empty reverie

 

The air is heavy and thick with derision

Shadows point, scowling, blind accusation

Their hands are trembling, frigid

Fingers for tearing, pointless destruction

 

We all look up and gaze

At the low-hanging sky

It’s looming and it’s sinking

Time passing by

A great grey-black thicket

Ready to crush us

 

But we stop

The eyes go on staring

The shadows go on pointing

And nobody looks twice

The sky goes on falling.