GOODBYE, YOUR MAJESTY. A POEM
September exposes the python winding its way
A concrete world, of slabs of stone with
Daunting streets and the chill of the coalface
Murmurings beckon towards death
where forgetfulness follows in the shadows
and sadness suffocates days past.
Photo shows Queen’s funeral inside of Westminster Abbey. Click on photo for enlargement.
Minds, minds, minds propelled along
In the masterpiece of image of Her Frailty
And her tender service of joy and tortuous years.
Stories of shy dedication descend from
The Gods of Power help shape our trust
Here arises the opportunity to collect thoughts
A concentration on the jewel beneath the crown
Unknown to most and known little to few.
Meanwhile the river wanders to the Sea
Plastic, pollution, oil, metal, junk,
Fly tipping, sewer pipes and putrid smell
– business as usual.
The tides, the moon and the winds express
While the water responds to the currents
As much junk floats and sinks downstream.
The great and good, and not so good
Stand in imperial splendour of pageantry
With titles and names to form the identity,
With the Queen who granted her peerages.
King and Queen Consort,
Prince and Princess,
Duke and Duchess,
Count and Countess
Viscount and Viscountess,
Lord and Ladies plus
The Honourables and the Right Honourables.
In the unilateral and dispersed agreement
of the glorification of the self.
Mums and dads squeeze the hands of little ones
Mindful steps, hour by hour, with conviction
Doors opened on the housing estates,
Private estates, bedsits, mansions,
Farms, bungalows, flats, caravans
The posh and the poor meet at SW1.
A cacophony of souls to witness togetherness
A Day to Remember.
A Day to Forget.
A Day to Cherish.
Lord Yama hovers in the beyond of the night sky,
His finger points down to select the dead for the day
The four-day old, a mere 96 hours of breathing, and the
96-year-old with softness of smiles.
The faded light and stillness of a human existence
Birth. Ageing. Dying. Death bridges the gap
Of the elite trapped in the disfunction of luxury
And many in enclosed grip of poverty and debt.
In the dark, a seed expands its way in the earth
And bursts its limits to reach out in all directions
A nurture of tree roots near and far,
And its sky bound movement
Where creatures take shelter paying respect to presence.
The sky releases some raindrops to water
Upon souls of the sanguine while the sun
Shines upon formations of controlled colour,
Controlled movements and the bearing of arms.
Festooned in the precision of salutes
With medals nailed across the heart
What a day.
A river weaves its way to the Sea
To lose itself, dissolve itself
To know an Expanse, an unbanked discovery.
Her Majesty’s rivers and streams
Named arteries and veins find rest
In the stillness of a once beating heart
Now she fuses into the depths of the elements.
Winter snows, summer heat, storm filled days
Where enTITLEment preserves silk sheets
While listening kindly to the deferential
On regular outings to stroke the python.
Oh, the gap between the gods who serve us
With pity and a faint touch of the hand
Upright to bestow a contribution of words
for the forbearance of hunger and cold.
What is this phenomenon of looking up
with hands in prayerful posture?
Is it an unwillingness to look straight ahead?
The finely clothed, the silks, military uniforms
and recognition of sombre authority.
Sadness reveals the shared sweet anthem
of royal, religious and secular privilege
and the lingering feelings of the Commoner.
How strange these titles – a birth right, an appointment
Some picked out from the Monarch of the day.
Can’t all be recognised by name alone?
Are we bound to the spell of grandiosity?
House of Lords,
Your Royal Highness,
Your Most Revered Primate
The Right Honourable
My Lord Archbishop,
Your Most Reverend Eminence
Dear Sir Michael, or whatever
Dear Dame Carol or whatever
Your Devoted Servant
Your Loyal Subject.
Secular and Church swear allegiance to the Monarch
The Lord of Death swears allegiance to the Living.
Sun, blue skies and throngs of Commoners
who gather in masses of devoted hearts
Inside the Abbey, jurisdiction of the Monarch,
The Royals and special guests find their place
in the hierarchy of appointed seats
Knowing a crown of thorns for entitlement
The heavenly choir fills the hellish corners of history
In this ritual of magnificent ancient splendour.
Death signals the facing into the silence
A breakup of self, of images, of presentations
This lavish spectacle with rows of solitude
Of black suits, black dresses and quiet of the mood
Hardened tablets of stone and cracks underneath
While bells ring loud announcing whispers of eternity.
We, the living, say Goodbye, Your Majesty.
The bowing of the heads to remind each other
We sense you in our bones if we care to listen.
We are not far behind you, Ma’am
Days, weeks months, years, decades?
How long? Not long.
Already closer. Step by Step. Breath by Breath.
Have these long rituals gone past their sell-by date?
Have we strayed far away from humble origins?
Titles, roles, masks and deceptive appearances.
What is the splendour of a corpse rotting into dust?
While draped in colours, flags, crown and sceptre.
Grandfather and grandson hovered above
Chessboard with its display of figures of the realm
King, queen, bishop, knight, castle
Plus rook – Persian for Chariot,
With disposable pawns to cast aside
Ah, a game for winners and losers
But you have to know the game to play
As the movements arise and disperse,
Of outcome of little count with smiles all round.
“Grandad, shall we play a game of cards?”
The sun fades from view
Her warm hands on Tuesday
Her cold hands on Thursday
Moment to moment, drift down, down, down.
A sinking of the light, a fading into the dark,
A waking state, a dream state, a sleeping state,
A loss of head of state
Upon many, a state of mind weighed down.
With upheavals of sorrow and sobs.
Why clutch upon the midnight hour?
What is this grief over the inevitable?
Companionship offers solace in the sorrow,
Royals/Commoners freeze out ones nearby
Until pushed into the throng of the winding python
And the marvel of death triggers
Power of empathy, of the word, of each other.
Outside her coffin, folks meet each other
In the nakedness stripped of pomp and promise
A conversation waiting to be had
Of songs of praise and liturgies of listening
Where grief holds no grip over love
With Lord Yama ruling the royals, elite,
The privileged and the dispossessed alike.
As Her Majesty makes her frozen stare upwards,
We, too, share our moments of silent, stillness
While a single teardrop squeezes from the corner
To make its way into the river towards
The fragrance of the Sea and its unfolding depths.
While the Throne she once sat on goes cold.
Our national discourse needs our attention
With emptiness of fictions of who I am
Glorification of the self versus neglect of the self
Are we King, Queen and Other of Conscious Living?
Can we find each other in the reverential crowds?
With a pack of cards in our pockets,
Free from exaltation of enslaved elite
Nor ensnared in the rampant field of life and death.
Young and old alike do not need the horoscope
To predict the squeezing out of our last breath
The grace of Her Majesty serves as a reminder.
Global Fame, Global Power. Global Wealth
A shrinkage as the sun passes down
Easing its way to diminish the pleasures
Before arrival of the last exhalation
Our journey unfolds through to this situation
Blessed and battered upon us.
Successes and failures,
Gains and Loss
Pleasures and Pains
Health and Sicknesses
Victories and Defeats
Privileged or Underprivileged
More and Less
While Angels soften the blows of hardened existence.
Eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch fade,
One by one into anonymity with the memories,
Along with the indulgence
Of daily life with its sweetness and sadness
Annus horribilis (horrible year) and annus mirabilis (wonderful year)
Dies horribilis (horrible days and dies mirabilis (wonderful days)
Ah, Days derived from the Latin From the Gods – Deus
Lord Yama and the Gods of the Elements,
Earth, air, heat and water condition our days,
Plus, deepening chasm of failed human enterprise
We will we meet again. Or will we, Ma’am?
Ye with much and ye with little.
Wealth within, sharing towards, announces true Brahmins.
Still with room for a tear for loss of Her Majesty.
We inhale the Queen’s perfume still lingering in the air
A fragrance of endorsement as we
Breathe in and out to fuse our spirit with cooperation
May the media lack power to stalk our naivety
Of craven dualities of Brahmins born or through gain
The long cortege and the solemnity of occasions
Castles and fairytales preserve our military history
A profusion of sights, sounds and stories
With breaking of the wand of old
A sinking coffin marks the end of the day
We think it’s all over.
It is now.
The python has shed its old and worn-out skin.
Commoners depart the cramped barricades
Souls return home having paid their respect
The front door opens to share their presence
To sentient beings of daily life,
With no time to waste on trivia,
Sun rises to wake us up from the dead
To dedicate our service to those near and far
Whoever we think we are.
Let us not shuffle up the stairs after a long day.
Goodbye, Your Majesty.