To The Two Thousand

Dedicated to the two thousand recently murdered by Boko Haram in Nigeria. No act of religion and no act of an evil ‘other’. Just a reaction by the same voices as echo across the rest of the world, those who seek to divide, suppress and control humanity in the service of their own brutal ideals. No to Fascism, whatever language it dresses itself in. No pasaran.

Two thousand mouths thrown open
two thousand screams escaped
two thousand lives are ended
two thousand lost in hate
and that ringing in your eardrums
that whining buzz of pain
isn’t a delusion
and it isn’t all your blame

It isn’t the cost of action
not yours at least, not mine
but a visceral reaction
to an ever clouding line
between the normal and the madness
which the hateful call divine
which the wealthy chalk to profit
which the powerful refine

No, the outcomes of these stories
the tales of the dead
are the completion of a saga
that to most is too well read
The fallout of a long war
for money and for claims
for greed and pride and envy
a never-ending source of pain

But your parents didn’t write it
no more than theirs or mine
and we do nothing to invite it
though we despair in the decline
the sins of those two thousand
innocent for sure
are the same as all the living
seldom greater, rarely more

We lay the blame on others
as the death rattle descends
ignoring that cruel handful
who blur the human lens
whose iron fists and golden wants
scrawled chaos on the earth
and whose actions we’ve been blind to
too busy trapped in birth

But the two thousand deserve better
than another round of hate
too late to saves their lives now,
too late to change their fate
but the pen it is still moving
the last chapters yet undone
and through a human effort
paragraphs may be undone

So grab your pen and paper
lay down all of your blame
set your eyes on all the guilty minds
force on them all their shame

Make the bastards pay back
for all they’ve said and done
for the Empires that defined us
for the firing of each gun
because two thousand deserve better
before this story’s done
and it’s our hands that have to write it
a better ending
for all
not just for some


Last Moments

‘Go off, kill them, you know what they’ve done.’

J stared at himself in the reflection of a shop window, running the words through his head. He did know what they’d done and they did deserve to die. He’d said it himself enough times. Words though, just words. Easy to say and easy to feel but a thousand miles away from this moment, hollow reverberations from a dozen instances¬†of emotional explosiveness. Heartfelt at the time, still felt in fact, but ever more distant from where he stood. Continue reading Last Moments


A Fragile Construction

Fistfuls of sand making a delicate castle
Collapsed fifty times before
by nature’s tides,
by human feet
by my own shaky handed defects
Through bad intent
or noble indifference
the walls crumbled just the same

But now base materials mix with the sweat of effort
moulding disparate grains into hasty bricks
Still making for flimsy walls
shaken and cracked by the quakes and volcanoes over my shoulder
Yet strong enough for this build

The fifty-first try
Again easy to break
in gusts of wind
or sweeping waves
foundations deep enough though
to resist a well a aimed kick
or the distant growl of humanity
that once saw castles fall


Je Suis

Amidst the crowd of millions stood one person. Ignored by those around them their anonymity cut deep.¬†Not that the others weren’t equally blacked out within the mass, it was grey day after all. And they’d not gathered for each other, not as individuals at least. They’d simply come seeking the pure warmth of a human crush. To stand shoulder to shoulder, almost child like, a communal cry for a mother’s arms. Not as thought or intent but simply to survive another day where the world offered little that wasn’t borne on the shoulders of others. Continue reading Je Suis


Morning’s Risk

Closed eyes
avoiding the inescapable
avoiding the endless fall
of a cliff face
crashing down to bright rivers
bordered by currents to consume

Feet on icy paths
glare blinding in the sun
and with open eyes the desire to run
to fall and fly to waters deep
a moment to splash
a lifetime to sink
a desperate hand to grasp for air
frozen lungs, choked and bare

But with a sharp and silent look
eyes open to choices took
and through the fall
and to impact
eyes can’t close to what was lacked

Too late to know, too late to care
the waters swallow all that’s there
and if the water falls
to jagged rocks
to icy waters
and feared shocks
the distant heights are far away
and all that’s left
is to sink, swim
or pray


Author Dylan Orchard’s Site