Poem To My Children

What I keep from you was never kept from me:
the ease of flow sluiced through banks of ignorance,
emptying their sick platitude into bays without limit.

Such an sufeit was never reckoned by emperors of old—
those regents encused with riches profuse,
dwarfed and stunned in archetypal luxuriance—
but the craving was there, patiently festering.

Look my children through the law’s benign face,
see the human flocks turned out by enclosure,
the forges flooded with screaming ore,
the bronze bulls being lit…

the grey kings climb the piled bodies
on into the present day, disowning noblesse oblige,
charlatans of status
setting false jewels in an enslavement
decked with withered pinions
and auctioning it off as freedom.

Your chance will come to tread their landscape of wonderment,
to sip synthetic lethe from machine-paps;
But remember the key I am fashioning for you
will always be within reach.

It’s of the simplest design,
turning the way dawn pours its clarity into darkness,
hiding in its own distance where imagination
crafts the city into a vein of opals, celestial and trembling.

What it opens is not yet known,
for in your hands the key will speak to you alone
in the inner chasm where each of us howl
from the depths of our bone,

with voices full of the syllables of rain
and the dry protected perch,
the roundness and completion of heat
curbing the pure trajectory of cold;

go forth then into the forests and meadows,
carry my strife into bowers of spruce
that caress frosts in their summer hearts,
and turn my offering into astonishment.

(c) Seth Grube