In the Flowery Countryside

Where shall we put the bodies, sir,

fifty thousand more today

and that is just at dawn

the cemetery’s gates are chained,

undertaker’s curtains drawn

 

curtains drawn good man? this will just not do

dig another trench, deep and wide;

but do not upset the people,

dig it out of sight

 

dig it out of sight dear sir?

the woods beyond the city are full,

there are few spaces now to hide

perhaps we should head further out,

in the flowery countryside?

 

in the flowery countryside? yes, good man, that might do

there is no time to spare

and do try to be good,

place them down with gentle care

 

place them down with gentle care, of course I want to sir,

but backhoe bucket does not allow

for gentleness in placing down;

perhaps some farmers will lend a hand

 

farmers might lend a hand good man?

indeed, this could save time,

now be sure to bury them deep enough

in the flowery countryside

 

in the flowery countryside is where I’ve been, sir,

and farmer’s time was loaned

we did run out of markers, but

we marked the places with stones

 

marked the places with stones good man,

that was very kind

sadly now, you must stay

away from the flowery countryside

 

the farmers cry, no more! no more!

and leaders claim this problem is not theirs

perhaps the only thing to do now, good man

is load the trucks and head towards the capital city’s front stairs

 

—July 4, 2020

Will We Be Good and Kind at the End

When the long drought comes,

scorches the hands of the healers

will we bandage them

with clean white gauze

so they can continue their work

and when kindness faces starvation

will we look into our pantries

and gather, quickly

to feed her

 

when the winds come

raging and spitting

and buildings begin to buckle

at the knees,

will we rush to the labs

swing open all the cages,

release the macaques and chimps and baboons and dogs and rabbits and mice and rats

finally,

finally

 

and will someone run

and free Adam Capay

and all the others

and all the plexi-glassed

others

 

and when the sea’s belly

swells and lifts us up

above rooftops and eagle nests

will we grab hold of anything we can

and hold its head up—

try to save it