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September 17, 2014

Darren in Darien

Like stout Cortez

He will not fall

On Darien’s high peaks and hills

In valleys he will walk until

He hears the sound of Scotland’s call

No more will he hear Big Ben toll

Out on the land where workers toil

In run-down houses and degraded soil

In vain for fifty years or more

Under iron fists and broken laws

By the Thames they shout and squeal

And promise there’ll be no more meals

They bang their fists and shake their heads

But he wrings his hands; he’s made his bed

“They’re only ever words of fear

In time they’ll fade and disappear

So raise your hands and drink your beer

Our sweetest-hearts and mother’s dear

Are the only ones who have our ears

It may be true, our day is here,

Though frightening; it may appear

The chance is there for us to seize

We’ll ride our luck, as Ulysses

Made his own way on stormy seas

The sun is out and the lilac’s blooming

The shadow of the past is brooding

Phantom-like in darkened corners

Lets rid the past of would-be mourners!”

His shout cries out but all alone

He finds himself on rugged stone

Volcanic lava that once was molten

Dead as granite, and only frozen

He stands a shadow on barren crag,

A dim sea beside him as feeling lags

That he’s still to seek that name he lacks

With no place to sleep and his bedrooms taxed

His health is weak and the wind is strong

It knocks the breath from weakened lungs

The voice they carry, lost in the throng

Of fearful waves against the rock

That beat in time with London’s clock

– A city t’would be painted gold

If only it weren’t already sold

At vast expense, they had been told

But no one dare to speak out bold

And question: with that great expense

Could they bring back some common sense?

“Greatest hopes that had been placed

Now drift away as the margin fades

Men fight fire with only fire,

Though the need is great and warnings dire

To do much else just leaves them tired”

The tide turns as his mother chides him

She nods his head when he says ‘they’re lying’,

They often do, those men in power

They smoke cigars in phallic towers

And compensate for small endowments

“Our chance can come again,” she said,

“Not on ballot paper, but in our heads,

And in our minds; so if you please

Go live your life to the lees

They cannot take what they cannot see.”

June 2023

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