There will never be a ceasefire.
The struggle is armed.

The stutter of the gun
mocks your charming attempt

at speech.  Your words
fall like iron in the sudden

silence of the battle.
Snow in the trenches.

sunlight in columns
torture beauty from

broken metal, from
rags your comrades wear.

Beer and bad food,
warmth for your feet;

you march, you march. You
hear the drum, the staccato

command, the siren and the horn.

Rage, you rage.

The lark still sings
the drum   the drum   the drum

© Riley Tench 1980/ 2014

It is fascinating — I planned to post this poem tonight — yesterday our Parliament was violated — I’m not sure it was attacked because he was ill if you ask me — and he has paid for his folly. And a wonderful man has paid for it — that is the cruelty.
I hope his savage act causes the opposite of what he intended. We are not a nation riven — we are more united — I never would have believed the Prime Minister would cross the floor, and hug each of the leaders of the opposing parties, but he did — strange times. Perhaps it is not too late to heal.
Riley understood we live in strange times. He reveled in it — he feared it — he prophesied it. He danced upon the brink not to say what a pleasure — but to say — think of the treasure — what can be lost if we stumble but a moment.
This is another poem Riley wrote for Theatr Kathartik. It reflects the Verfremdungseffekt of Brecht — I think perfectly.
Riley may have seemed random … but he was not.
wm

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