Saturday, 28 August 2010

La Cuenta (The Bill)

I have my own antiques
This rock, this majestic soil
Passed through the gullets of Pharoahs
Shat out into the Nile
Washing up at my feet

I can hear Joan of Arc’s voice still
Ringing from the stake
And God stood at her side as
She screamed and burned and succumbed
To humanity’s fate.

It is the arrogance of men they should put in museums
We should go there to look at its folly
And wander the cool mausoleums
Where the dead hide their stories
And their horrors

See the blue sky
Grab it while you can
Before you’re raped and mutilated
At the hands of stinking men

Leaves a bad taste in my mouth
Like radiation
To live in a world where a woman’s
Silence deafens the screams of her
Suffering and writhing to get away
And clawing, and screaming the
Names of her children to ‘Run, run’ run
To safety or to remain quiet with
A look from her eyes,
As she looks through the unseeing
Men as they pull at her clothes,
To where her children hide

We sit here in the
Cool. Outside the café
Drinking iced tea
And smoke spirals up from the Camels.
And the arms dealer smiles because
He has made a tidy packet
And the politician is smug because
The election is in the bag.
And the soldiers go where they are told.
And the masses surge up against the barriers of injustice
And the blood pools under their feet
And the mound of dead rises higher and
While we conspire around our polished
Glass table, what it is we will do this evening
And where we will have our dinner.
And the mound grows higher
‘Camarero, la cuenta por favor’
Waiter, the bill please, we ask

The bill please
And the millions dead keep dying
The millions raped keep
up their bodies
to the savagery of
men whose eyes

hold knives of lust
And whose hands thrust
their vile-nce
into girls vaginas.

It is the hatred
To which we are unaccustomed
As our mother reared us gently and with
If this is a man? I ask
At the table, shielded in the shade
From the hot spanish sun.
If this is a man? I ask
Then what’s become of us?

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