(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Babel

At the edge of Fallbrook Forest
so distant from the city, inhabited
by Haves and Have-Nots,
I dwell, a cabin without shutters
and moods created by surprise
and mystery, in rags and free.
Abandoned on an island of
tranquility, envy of those
who must exist, in crowds
alone, amidst the terror of
a frothy sea of deadly poison.
Metropolis of gloom and doom.
Smoke billows from the purple
and age-stained rooftiles,
beneath which sigh
the sounds and stenches of
a tea party of Mad Hatters.
Between us lives a placid lake
with wondrous secrets,
and happy pebbles
quick swarms of fish
in blues and yellows
loud orange rainbow brightness,
fine tuned, nuances like
a clustered psychodelia.
Reflecting its own soul
within my eyes,
caressing spectacles
within a world
of soothing beauty
a gift of Nature
for those of vision.
There are no fish
of pleasant colour
in murky waters,
though made by swirls
a whimsy of
bold evolution
with unexpected
yet innate wonder
of loving humour,
once selected
and then bestowed
on those who hear
the whispers
of humanity.
The tranquil waters
of our lake
now stir
in balmy morning breeze,
and,
from the bottom of the sea
appears a humpback,
giant whale
adorned with
countless barnacles.
His vocal blows
are heard in town,
a sign of freedom
forever distant,
a sound that travels
through all valleys
and mountaintops.
Across calm waters
carries proudly
its wings of hope
and black despair.
Yet not one ear
will on this day
receive. A deafness
has surrounded
all living beings
within walls
of stone and mortar,
topped by weeds
that rise from crevices
to heaven.
All time has landed
at the Portal,
to meet the piper
and to pay.
As clouds drift closer
darkness beckons,
from snow-capped peaks
an arctic presence
invades the city,
brings damnation.
And lightning strikes
for one last time.
Yet we are safe
beneath the acorns,
if frightened by
the orange glow
of fires sent
to cleanse the land.
And as we sit
to say our prayers
it starts to snow
from feisty, fluffy clouds
onto the trees
where an Alaska Pine
is home this year
to a Columbia Owl
now perched
and motionless observes
a frightened chipmunk
on the ground below.
Appearing frozen,
like death itself
it plunges silently
with sudden speed,
sharp talons leading
to start the cycle all anew.
The morning wakes God's little kingdom
our lake a sea of ice and snow,
a blinding glare,
a million crystals,
the city gone
and all its people.
'New Order', now it dawns
reluctantly,
for us it is
the life just as before.

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Comments (5)

Scary truth....but beautiful in its description.
I agree with Allan & John, another ten, methinks.
THIS POEM HAS A WONDERFUL FLOW HERBERT, AS DOES MOST OF YOUR POETRYAND THE THEME IS REAL AND SOMEWHAT SCARY IN IT'S TRUTH wARM REGARDS AJS
This is fantastic in its imagery, I could swear that I know the landscape. The end of the world and some privileged people survive. Is it because they lived properly before things started getting dicey? Wonderful poem. JW
Very moving poem! You've certainly captured the 'end of the world' feeling in this one. To be the lucky ones to survive such a thing would be miraculous. I loved the vivid pictures of your land here. Nice one. Sincerely, Mary