Death Rattle


Among the evolving
there's a devolution.
There is a siren
wailing the savage
song of loss.
A wave of tension,
that as it strikes 
the shore of progress,
emits its high, holy
death rattle.

And oppositional forces,
motivated but unaware
that malignant aspirations
reside in futility,
suffer the universal 
tendency toward disorder
as it stands firmly
in opposition of their oppression.

In these final stages,
when the thrash and temper
of humankind reveals itself
in part so ugly, so cold.
Then does the tightening
grip of mortis set in
begging for the decisive blow.

The succor they seek,
the fruit and fallout
of their belligerent designs,
can know no forever,
no perpetual peace.

And like all death throes
before them,
cling as they might,
they will leave behind naught
but the high, holy
death rattle. 

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47 thoughts on “Death Rattle

  1. Gosh this poem is good. This particularly speaks to me:

    In these final stages,
    when the thrash and temper
    of humankind reveals itself
    in part so ugly, so cold.
    Then does the tightening
    grip of mortis set in
    begging for the decisive blow.

    Mother Earth will have her say, and our failure to tend kindly to one another and ultimately to this amazing planet that is our home will no doubt trigger our species’ demise. I cannot envision another end to the human experiment. Sad, that. I hope I’m wrong.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thank you very much for your thoughtful words. I appreciate you taking the time to read.

    Truthfully, I wrote this poem with an eye towards conjuring two distinct sets of emotions. The first is similar to your interpretation…the other is more positive, yet less often discussed.

    Because of the antagonizing nature of societal discourse, it’s easy to see the present as ever closer to the edge of a precipice, but I think it’s also fair to interpret the present as the last gasp (death rattle) of certain malevolent social forces. I see an America that is constantly expanding its notions of tolerance and acceptance, which in many ways is forcing the “death rattle” of regressive movements. The time when things look like their worse is often a precursor to something better.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. That certainly speaks to me. My b-i-l has been given 2-6 months to live now. I know my sister is always listening for that when he sleeps. Sometimes I think it would be better if we didn’t know about such things… Great poem. And thank you, btw, for the follow. I look forward to getting to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I’m grateful for your visit to my blog, because it led me to yours. This is utterly fantastic. This part just gets me-
    “In these final stages,
    when the thrash and temper
    of humankind reveals itself
    in part so ugly, so cold.”–
    It’s so raw and gritty with truth.
    Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a Brit who voted to remain in the EU in our recent referendum, this really spoke to me. The whole affair has divided our society, and poisoned our political discourse, like nothing else in my lifetime – and nothing has really happened yet. Your lines

    And oppositional forces,
    motivated but unaware
    that malignant aspirations
    reside in futility,
    suffer the universal
    tendency toward disorder
    as it stands firmly
    in opposition of their oppression.

    capture exactly the mood among those in the Leave camp who are now claiming ‘victory’ without realising that quitting the EU won’t address any of the issues they’re so (often justifiably) angry about – or that, in the end, we’ve all lost. Futility indeed. Thanks for sharing this fine work.

    Like

    • My pleasure friend. While I could not speak intelligently on the Brexit issue, it seems by your words the “leave” camp in Britain is similar to the conservative movement currently floundering in the US. I appreciate you reading and your thoughtful comment.

      Like

    • Thanks for the follow. As poets our goals are the same but how we perceive the world and it’s idealologies are quite different. You perceive what you wrote as the death rattle of conservative values whereas I perceive it as the death rattle of a progressive movement that is valueless. Poetically speaking then, I guess I agree. Now ain’t that a doozy of an irony.

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      • You’re welcome for the follow friend, I look forward to perusing more of your work.

        As to my poem, if I gave the impression that the death rattle is the death of a “value” system, I did so inadvertently. We’d both likely agree that the term “values” is a loaded one anyway — usually used as a petty rhetorical move to try and grab the moral high ground as quickly as possible. If I have to resort to such terms to feel better about my position, it’s probably weak from jump. Instead, the poem is a reflection on the malevolence that underlies racism, sexism, homophobia and all manner of intolerance masquerading as concern for the well-being of an ENTIRE people. Certainly some conservative positions express this same concern in a forthright and worthwhile manner, but in other respects modern conservative speak merely panders to the lowest common denominator embedded in provincial and short-sighted viewpoints. I sincerely doubt someone who thoughtfully comments on a poem that they feel strikes against their ideology–you, in this instance–actually embraces the bigotry and hatred I’m referencing. Just as I could never describe all conservatives as malevolent, I’m sure you might reconsider the notion of a liberal ideology that, in many ways, seeks to genuinely assist people from all walks of life as “valueless”.

        The poem’s intended audience may never read it, given that they are in the death throes of their ideology as they know it. If you consider yourself part of that group, I’m happy you read it, but fear the message is lost. If you are not, I’m also happy you read it and hope that my explanation above suffices to alleviate any ideological biases you may perceive in its composition.

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  6. I’ve heard it…the death rattle. It is sorrowful and terrifying together, much as your words that pierce the soul with urgent warning, yet leave the reader contemplating…. As ever my Friend, my mind and heart are shaken by your words and it is Marvelous.

    Like

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