Monday, 2 June 2008

1. The Voice

"Each man is the architect of his own fate."

Emperor Claudius (10 BC–AD45)

To sing is to be free;
the archetypal caged bird
forever silenced behind bars.

To sing is to speak
of nightmares, of a man who
beats a wide-eyed child

with a belt-buckle
for singing along to
Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy’.

To sing is to scream;
of hands being pressed
to young mouths at dawn

of bible class guilt
and fire and brimstone
peripatetic preachers

of self-righteous hypocrites
spirit killers, pederasts
and fiends

To sing is to escape
this cell of a city
the door momentarily

left open wide
to the ex-Land of
the Indians.

Who would have thought
that the house of God
would provide solace

for this troubled kid
with a voice like
a fallen angel

and the appetite for mischief
and mayhem of
the devil himself?

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