Conditions of Living
Once, we died dreaming and drowning
in the first flush of youth
our bones yellowing beneath our skins.
We died standing up,
propped on our spears
watching the world subsume us
in a winding cloth of sand.
We fell with our cattle and our crops
when winter swallowed us
like nightmares in a dream of sun.
Now, we are always in the light
but still we're fearful.
The world spins faster. We see atoms
dancing in our minds and slow our ageing,
hide behind our mobile phones
check our profiles
in the darkened mirrors of the web.
We do not recognise ourselves.
Instinct is caged in ancient bodies
which in their turn are caged in metal.
The land grows meat instead of trees
and all the world's a stage that hates its players
who strut and forget
that they are only scuffed knuckles
on a fist of rock.