Culture

No Song

A new poem by Aidan Andrew Dun

Painting - George Frederic Watts, 1885, Hope

I saw it immediately, years back, got its meaning.

A painting shows a beautiful young woman in a see-through chemise collapsed on a ruined world. She's blindfolded, holding a broken-stringed instrument to her head as if to catch a last trace of music. We know she must be some divinity since a woman could never sit at a planet's north pole and have her naked feet graze the equator. So she is Gaia, and this ruined world is hers. And ours.

Why is she blindfolded? Because we are blind. And why is her musical instrument almost destroyed? Because we don't dance any more with the universal body-language of reconciliation. We are stumbling about, philosophically and politically, neither at peace with existence nor at peace with one another. And the music Gaia needs to hear so badly - that music she loves so much - that music is over. Corporate culture has killed it with ultra-silly hypersexualised dreck. Are you with me? Get up, stand up!

So we have a picture of some barefoot chick in a sea-blue negligee who’s definitely left the festival (yawn, yawn). The music she expected to hear wasn't happening; her heroes are either burnt-out, blacklisted or overdosed. Coming down from some chemical high she's just heard a newsflash: another war has broken out in either the North African Corridor or the Mideast, she's not sure. Gaia has lost count of the wars. Check the incinerated planet she's seated on: this is not just desertification, this is, like, nuclear winter. Will you accept this? Do you imagine you will tinker with 5G gadgets as compensation for no longer living in an earthly paradise?

Look, I wanted to say something about my poem _No Song. _But no matter, there's no time and truly the poem speaks for itself: a sharpened arrow with fourteen feathers aimed straight at rage-poisoned human hearts. Something has to puncture these balloons which pass for people! You warmongers on all sides, don't lecture us about your belief in God, if you _knew_ God you would shut up and show a good example.

Hope was the favorite painting of MLK, now you know why. With love and with the greatest respect I dedicate No Song to Reverend Martin Luther King.


No Song

With one torn string remaining
her old-time lyre is untuned.
See: with life-energies waning
she kneels exhausted, life-threatened
feeling polar icecaps melting
sensing wastelands sweltering
as hot dust-shrouds wrap around
lost equatorial ground.
Earth, all conflagration-red
breaks out in warzones, fevers
raves with insane believers
blindfolded on the world’s deathbed.
No song: just a single note
as hope sticks in a dry throat.


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