Tuesday 20 February 2007

Crime and Punishment

Originally uploaded by charlesbyrnemusic.

Crime and Punishment

A lie fluttered on the air
Lightly dropped
from glamorous lips
breathed from between bright-pink gloss
and hung,
paused for a moment before it took flight.
I witnessed this,
amoungst other wondrous things;
miracles of human nature.
Saw its springing into life
Heard it throb from lip to lip
the tinkling champagne chatter counter-pointing
its fine and tremulous rise.

In the heat of summer
growing fetid
I stood and judged
Was jury, clerk and court
Magistrate in common cause
While vacuous heads
Under shiny hair
Nodded to the pointing of a dozen varnished claws
A quiet shadow gone from group to group
Taking evidence
Giving them rope
Letting them tie nooses
Dumbstruck by the power of illusion
Working on the bluntness of small minds

What sentence ,then?
What balancing of the scales could tip and turn
this cruelty into redress
Was I the one to cull the herd?
Would I say the harsh word against my own…
Loaded words, like bullets.

A lie was uttered
Soiling air and ear alike
Spite and malice bandied round
Tearing reputations, making
Of love and trust.
I wore black
With white gloved hands
And for each tiny thoughtless wound
Planned a thousand in return.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


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