The Ascent of Money

the stars are those
we have forgotten
both living and dead,
floating in clustered constellations
not labouring in rows-
with hair growing grey
and teeth going rotten
singing songs, God’s godless pray.
harvesting crops.
chants drowned in clocks
of tobacco and cotton,
the peasants and slaves of civilised nations
duped by liberty
in recent history-
dug out canals, made railways and roads
out of tarmac to tread-
into factories
like tribal junkies
hooked on cheap gin and beer instead
of joining the cholera’s watery dead-
ten to a room in a slum and lead-
like human batteries,
sleeping without moonlight
on sarsen stones,
or druid voices in their homes-
where thoughts have no dreams or flight,
just sleep, recharge, get bled.
you have to be poor,
to think utopia
can be something real-
not to exploit or steal
that ambrosia aura of women and children and men
for the spoken wages of despair-
that suck you in,
glad but grim
when times’ clock punches that card by the door
and mass myopia
conditions all to labour, keyboard and pen
for food and shelter with a roof and fourth wall
shanty made out of cardboard, wood and tin
in sunny Sao Paolo, where the samba rain leaks in
while orphaned children beg and play
eating the forage of capitalist waste
dodging death squads night and day
imitating Socrates at football to hope to taste
what’s inside the cold, glistening towers
casting invisible powers
behind the smoked glass and soldiers of stone
leaving blood and bleached bone
from over there-
where the ascent of money doesn’t care
about it all
because its infinity is small.

 

The Dance

pull the roof off
knock the walls down
touch the forest
climb those mountains
and smell the sea
again.

watch how life
decomposes
in death
going back to land
to reform and be reborn
as something and someone else.

there’s no great secret to it all.
no need to overthink it through

food and shelter
fire and shamens
clothes and coupling
used to be enough
with musicians
artists
and poets
interpreting the dance.

then warriors with armies
religions with god
and minds buying and selling
stole the landscape
and changed time.

smash the windows
break down the doors
melt the keys
rub evil words from their spells
and puncture the lungs of their wheels

before they kidnap you from bed
call you dissident
hold you without charge
wheel you out on a stretcher
from waterboard torture
for years
without trial
in Guantanamo Bay.

they are selling
the sanctuary
we made
with our numbers
bringing back chains
making some of us slaves
outside the dance
in the five coloured rings
making winners
and losers
holding flags and flames.

 

Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and ex-civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between forests, mountains, cities, and coasts playing his saxophone and clarinet in warm solitude.

His poetry has been published in the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain, India, and Switzerland in numerous publications including mgv2 Publishing Anthology; Dreich Magazine; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine; Literary Yard e-Journal; Poppy Road Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; The Poet Magazine; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; A New Ulster/Anu; Outburst Poetry Magazine; The Galway Review; The Honest Ulsterman Magazine; The Lonely Crowd Magazine; Danse Macabre Literary Magazine; The Lampeter Review; Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts; Don’t Be Afraid: Anthology To Seamus Heaney; Dead Snakes Poetry Magazine; Panoplyzine Poetry Magazine.