Citizen Ship 2013. Belfast. Nos 14. As a response to the recent Flags issue, I…

Citizen Ship 2013. Belfast. Nos 14.
As a response to the recent Flags issue, I collect ideas and write them down. To celebrate with words, democracy, and the expressive rights of the citizen in Northern Ireland.

The Old Darkness.

The old darkness
Descends upon us once again.
With the fear in the stomach
And the nervous look
Over the shoulder.
The sleepness night,
Wakeful, at unpredictable sounds.

The old darkness,
Wraps itself around and around
Our vulnerable minds,
As subtle and frightening
As an unseen incantation.
This darkness enfolds us,
Wraps us once more,
Cradles us, like tortured babies,
In its deep, horrific magic.

The old darkness,
A dark blanket of protest,
Infests us all as surely as
The cockroach beetle.
Disgusting to the touch
And even uglier in flight.
The spawn of second hand, whispered ideas,
And shadowy loiterings.
The passing on of the plague,
And promise, from one to another.

The old agrarian, secretive, sectarian, sham.
Replanted in concrete for city slickers.
Our blocked dam in a silent valley.
Where no one speaks.
Where everyone still, keeps their heads down.
While the two sides row
Someone else’s boat, through choppy waters
Once again.

The old darkness.
The fear in our selves,
Laid bare, laid out, laid open
To those who would serve
The darkness.
The shadow self, unable to bear
The light of new ideas, it seeks out the shadows of others.
Can only function, in the soft warm corners of ourselves.
It rides on the shoulders of marchers,
Trails the coat tails of rioters.
Corrupts the minds of the weak and the greedy,
And is the life coach to the floundering.

The old darkness descends
But cannot bear love, cannot be in the company
Of those who give of themselves and their time
To others, for free.

It seeks out the easy prey
As the darkness settles, at the end of each day.
As surely as a ready meal fails to satisfy.
It can only deal in the fast food
And simple ideas, found on the street.
No salad, no fibre, no fear, I swear.
As easy to digest as beef with fries
In your bap, with worms, it tells you lies.
The con, the trick, the lack of nutrition
From a flag, in a bag,
You’ve no bloody mission.

Your political belly sags
As you drag yourself along.
As you wrap yourself in polythene colours.
The duller and dumber,
And dumbed down you become.
The more you are at risk,
You could succumb, to the fist,
To the big red hand and its one big thumb,
Pressing down.
Pressing down.

Which red hand?
Whose red hand?
Yellow or white?
Check the menu mate.
There’s a special deal on tonight . . .
With a two red hand special.
You wrestle with words.
Can you read the menu?
Sectarian, from no choices.
No one hears your volatile voices.
They only rattle their tin,
For your money.

The old darkness descends
But fails, as it always has failed,
To snuff out your light, completely.
Invested with love, care and patience.
The touch that only a mother
Could describe and carry, to her children,
Still exists.
Deep within your culture,
She rests there yet, with two clenched fists.
To care for you, and you.
Her small, hurt family.

The flag maker, makes the flags.
What does the flag maker make,
From making you make others
Make a mountain from a mole hill?

The old darkness recedes
As the dawn recycles itself,
Like the sound of glass bottles
Falling into a skip.

By Randall Stephen Hall
7th May 2013 ©