Washed Up – by Chris Taylor

 

Along the waterfront, playthings of the rich
bob frivolous among reflections of million dollar hideaways.
Caribbean Explorer. Sunset Dream. Grateful Not Greedy.

Two blocks over, cast up on the steps of Central Library
[insert verb] piles of cardboard, canvas, human flesh –
cast-offs of Reagan and Bush, Abolitionism and the Chicago School.

Robyn asks me for a dollar.
Green eyes flash, red hair glows.
“I’m getting low right now. Food Stamp Card
is empty until the fourth.”
That’s a week away.

She rambles through her life story:
Oklahoma, two kids, three beautiful grandkids.
Teacher, Elementary School Head –
until four years ago when
her brain froze one side of her face.

Everything here is like eggshells.
Everything one slip from destitution,
one stroke from endless demise.
Everything here has someone’s name on it.
This street, this park, plaza, school, dining terrace –
fragile monuments to frail ego,
petrified of their own mortality.

Everything here is fragile.

I am fragile here.
I feel I would crack
if held too tight.

 

 

 

Chris Taylor lives in Yorkshire and is unofficial poet of The New Story. His poems, which are often blunt and heart-felt, channel a more beautiful future. Part political, part spiritual, his work avoids polemic while refusing to duck the issues of our age. Chris splits his time between writing and working as a life-coach, facilitator and mentor for people and organisations that are building a better world amongst the ruins of late-stage global capitalism.

Orlando – by Chris Taylor

 

I thought I had no words –
that only silence
could do justice
to Orlando.

But I am scared.
Because text books tell me
this is just the start.
As empires crumble
all sense of certainty is cast aside
leaving us to tip-toe
through the minefield
of someone else’s fear.
Where to love
is to place your body on the frontline
for self-loathing males
            whose fragile sense of worth
            conjures up more hatred
            than their souls can hold
to use as target practice.

And we are left to
stand in line for seven hours
in ninety degree heat
to give blood
in devotion
to our lovers.
Whose broken remains remind us
that to follow your heart
can be a dangerous thing.

And this is just the start.
These are days
when psychopaths lie
and cheat and brag their way
to hate-filled power
over what’s left of a once-proud endeavour.
Only to prove their rhetoric is empty
their deeds are shallow
and their desperation more extreme
than their egos can contain.

I am scared
more blood will be spilt
more wars fought
more others vilified, blamed
and cast into the fire
as walls crumble,
ponzi-capitalism chases
its tail into a spiral
of crash upon crash,
boom and bust echoing
like so many semi-automatic rounds
until the whole thing
goes down in a CGI
fire-ball blaze.

And we are left to find
more love
           for every act of hate
more peace
           for every act of war
more calm
           for every rabid rally-cry
as chaos seeks to spreads contagion.

This is the task
we have taken upon ourselves.
A test beyond biblical proportion.
What some put out
we will repay double
in equal and opposite measure.
Where there is death
we will give blood.
Where there is greed
we give all we have.
For Hatred – love.
Frenzied clatter – deepest hush.
Despair – only joy.
Anything else is retreat,
anything else risks the end,
anything else forgets
that love
is love
is love
is love.

 

 

Chris Taylor lives in Yorkshire and is unofficial poet of The New Story. His poems, which are often blunt and heart-felt, channel a more beautiful future. Part political, part spiritual his work avoids polemic while refusing to duck the issues of our age. Chris splits his time between writing and working as a life-coach, facilitator and mentor for people and organisations that are building a better world amongst the ruins of late-stage global capitalism.