The news:


The collapse of the local order

is a sidestep from the intrinsic issues

that interweave like webs or varicose veins.


Translate that for me?


The distant rolling thunder over the hills

captures the souls of the undead,

leaves them dangling from the trees, ripe to be plucked.


Strange fruit for the subordinates.

A lifetime of loving and unloving.


There are the moments between

the chasms of being

and those that are lost in the temerity of the sensuous

and the senselessness of the killings.

Somebody is getting their kicks, tonight.

Somebody is detached enough not to care.

Too much training, not enough heartache.


Do you remember,

You used to go to the gym just to train to cope with everyday stresses,

like the train, the bus, the crowds, the queues?


Do you remember,

Sunny days with headphones,

to block out the noise of the city?


When the beat drops, so do the bombs.


There was a city here once.

There was a school bus stop.

You can tell by the children’s satchels and the twisted metal posts.


Everything looks like a warzone,

because it is.


The low hum of 42,43,44 to 50,000 to a million shattered voices

all sound like a low level hum if you stick your fingers in your ears, right?


You understand the faces.

You understand the skin tone.

You understand the politics.


The rest:

the nuance,

the calligraphy of some distant office

with no consequences,


a raised eyebrow,

a tut tut,

a sucking of teeth,

a blown-off leg?


You get the nuance,

You understand it.


Translate that for me

in simple terms

because I only understand

simple things

primal things

primary things.


I understand

the colour red

as found in blood

as found in twisted iron

as found in blood-shot eyes of school detention

as found in the sun at 5.am illuminating the devastation


as found on marked crossed-out homework.


X marks the spot.


If you get it wrong, you can throw it in the bin and start again, right?

Re-submit, extend the deadline, right?

Change the marking scheme, the exam timetable,

the colour of the pen to make the adjustments, right?


I do not understand nuance.

I understand

the blue of the ocean,

the green of the plants that grow,



But I do not


a hmmm

a tut

a sigh

a raised eyebrow

a finger wag.


I do not understand why?

Man’s inhumanity to man.


so please,

I beg you.

Translate that for me.


I am only a god.

I understand simple things,

elemental things

and that is my failing.