Ride to the abyss*, by Mandy MacDonald

I am not a silent poet

Is this the beginning of the end
after all? Hell-bound,
slip-sliding on power & money
& lies,
our nations’ mad charioteers
career after the old horsemen aroused
from their uneasy sleep, eager
to mow & slice & erupt in blood
from land to land.

Contagion of savage pointless deaths,
those small wars like inkblots on a map,
their edges bleeding out, flowing together
into one great redblack pool, meniscus
slick with death.

Here in my garden, spring comes late,
yellow & blue;
the small birds flutter & pipe, nest-foraging
in slow green.
It is pleasant here
but it is not an island.

Am I just to stay here & wait?


*The title is borrowed from Berlioz’s opera, The Damnation of Faust.

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