Thursday, 1 April 2010
The Bleak Harvest
This is a poem based on the image above where the death of Stalin was depicted as the reunion of a friendship with death.
I based the imagery of the sun on the Poem The Harvest Moon by Ted Hughes, but where Hughe's poem was about the Harvest of wheat - mine is about the 'Harvest' of the dissidents under the Communist system.
The Bleak Harvest
Each stem of wheat was bent, black and wet,
And so long oppressed by the storm,
And its sabre slashes of lightning,
They could no longer bear their being,
And the hopelessness of their hopes,
For every head was bowed in fear,
And wilted by the whip lash of rain,
That drowned the earth in its dark flood.
And so the reaping began again,
And the sharp blade of the sickle,
Scythed each stem, systematically,
Removing every rotting head,
With a wicked whisper of ‘Guilty’
Chopping down the crop, the dissidents,
Cutting away the corrupted grain,
That dared spread the contamination.
A harvest moon was high above, burning,
Crimson as the blood of a martyr,
An orb of fire, round as the wounds,
In the palms of crucified Christ,
Where the Romans had driven their nails,
Through sinless skin and tender tendon,
To secure their power upon the cross,
And after the work of death had been done,
Came a parliament of cackling crows,
Strutting in their shiny black uniforms,
Like soldiers amidst the bleak harvest,
To peck at the fallen crop for themselves.
I saw death, dressed in ragged and old black robes,
Take notes of what he saw, scribbling furiously,
With a bureaucrats pen dipped in poison,
Fascinated by the perverted logic of it all,
As the murder machines were set to work,
Killing and culling, raping and breaking,
Whilst behind him in a row, a myriad tyrants,
Sat on their petty thrones of bone and gold,
Were applauding the science of it all,
As their silent slaves in chains were busy,
Beating rusty swords into missiles and guns,
And building computers with silicone chips,
To construct a cage that contained the whole world.