Gritstone slabs invaded by
black lichen and forgotten names.
Rain in the wind, the tops in cloud.
Is labour also buried here, singing
in the ground the day will come?
We no longer have the means
Of conducting a life in such surety.
But we can still dance. Proudly behind
the brickwork our boots clang all night.
And the more we dance
the more we think, of a society
not run on mutual deceit. Many
Have led such a thought through their lives
but later died and the thinking
had to begin all over. And it does,
It truly does, generation after
generation in ever deeper colours
pushing push-chairs up steep hills and
Writing theses on participation...
the real thinking continues in the practice of future,
the art of precisely here
And how to maintain hope while the world
leans into its empire of failure.
Which leaves us free to die at last.
Bury us here, where labour is buried, under the dark sod
and set up inscriptions on gritstone slabs
in memory of our great persistence and optimism.
Copyright Peter Riley 2013
also by Peter Riley: Four Pieces After Hadewijch