Friday, 29 January 2010

Old Age Titans

When the titans were forced from grace,
From skylight to skirting board,
Thrust to the depths of the earth
And beyond by Zeus’ almighty arm,
Even the tallest of Titans shrank in stature
Shrivelled and stale, smelly as an old man
Sitting like dried up fruit in a bowl of mouldering apples,
Past wizened and instead aged off the tree – not rotting,
Not exactly, no – sinking and sinking into the back of an ever-reclined armchair,
Sinking into folds of skin that suck onto cheeks once strong and full,
a face now slack in meaning.

When the titans were forced from the sky,
Did Zeus spend time testing various hells-on earth?
No, he merely looked to earth itself, where the elderly hover
on the edge of life,
The edge of the earth, imprisoned
in bodies slumping into husks
in fusty, dinge-laden lairs of unconsciousness
and glancing insanity, shrieks of envy, and angry, misplaced sociability,
Attended by the hawkish, the dumpy and the dour.
The false cheer scrawled on whiteboards
Distressingly loveless to their blank gaze.

No, there was no need to ensure the malaise of his forefathers
When the threads of time are destined to fray
and fritter away, the fundamental evaporation of lucidity and lustre

Shining silks are tossed out in their turn
And so are we all.

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