This piece of verse comments upon the major occurrences of the poet’s life. It moves in a cryptic manner through global events coming to rest upon the tragedies that marked his life more fully than the others. “The Ten” refers to the Irish hunger strikers who were martyred in the H-block protests of 1981.
Reflections on The Ten
Will they speak of fallacies, will they speak at all
upon the end of one man’s life when some seek to recall
the times that were and how they were and all the eyes did see
that rippled waves of consequence upon the refugee.
Shall they say the King had died, collapsed beside the throne
where dignity was flushed away and rumour found a home.
Can they speak of crumbling walls dividing crumbling lands that
fell before the dreaming hordes when dreams were rare and banned.
Dare they mention hunger pangs that rumbled through the nations
to shake a world’s mutated id that stewed in degradation.
Perhaps they’ll dwell upon the art that sculpted then the need
to watch the Towers of Babel fall beneath the weight of greed.
Is it such that they should have retained the memory
of injustice bound in orange threads while sterile smiles stood free.
Or will it fade in twilight’s grasp as will the tyrant’s face that
beckoned forth the Last Crusade with oily Grail as grace.
Should they reminisce of old, of how the East arose
to boil the lakes to pound the steel to forge the fears of foes,
it’s then they may remember the harder days that lay
behind the mask of wealthy walls convulsed by shame of whey.
If images of pyramid do steal into their tales
when seeking out the order sought by peasants long since failed,
They may forget that virtual life did blossom then and bloomed
into an all-consuming clutch that ate the shells assumed.
And so it is with all who trek the tangents found in time
to come upon that final end of madness, oft sublime.
They’ll say of him, a witness he, to wistful thoughts in men.
Yet let it be said, that he had lived at the passing of The Ten.