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"The End of the World is Near"

by seanfarragher 

Posted: 02 January 2006
Word Count: 511
Summary: First Draft -- 1 January 2006
Related Works: Birthday Poem 1-8-2006 Revised THIRD TIME • “The Garden of Earthly Delights -- 2005” • 

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"The End of the World is Near (2006)"
”The War of Roses"

Poem for the New Year 2006

In the danger of half ice storms
I cannot find my perfect maps,
or lead filled books dragged
by red hot air balloons over
the Nile to the Valley of Kings.

Here the Pharaohs wait
with fork and plate and slaves
to accept rewards and loss
misplaced liturgies -- lies
from Priests decorated with
medals and insubstantial peace.

Every sacred word lied -- written
without translation by Apostles
with crippled hands. They led us
to the dust of Christ but chance
crawls; faked in the garden of veils
left in bed with discarded dirty sheets
pubic hairs and that sticky flood
rising and falling in the ardor of past.

Christ is not born; he will not
live in the myths drained from holy moors.

Mark down fake prescriptions
of the missal while curbs stiffen,
and the cars lurch forward
beyond the Nile and Mount Sinai
where destiny has no arms in 2006.

Marble cannot resist hammers
driven to ravage moral chains
that fear -- we are bad children
after all with half a crown,
broken legs and egg shells
that hold together all the
parts we cut from corpse.

Why do we worship mountains
and dear, dead God, Manitou --
holy rivers plugged with filth
collected by anonymous hands
locked inside Hell by Bosch's gate.

Wings brush leaves that fire scorns.
Do we number tectonic plates with law
when ethical drums and moral screams?

If we are observant, we will name
every death ring it foul or natural.

Mark down how sentiment poured in streets
when storms were let by curse to murder
slaves in the city tomb of several
millennia connected by genes and terror.

Every rock had its own name in Hell;
We trace the geothermal circus.
The air was thin where we leap
where summit called to test death.

Every sin was noticed, but we lost
where night and day stop nocturnal "O"--
that alternate cause, and easy does
the miracles, for nothing will make
the greedy human or wealthy men
share primal remains.

Into screams I predict the farce
will have its own comedy and seek
what only can be the misery and dross
of terror and the scorching heat
of the backgrounds of the deadly ocean
floor where clouds never burst again.

Mountains do speak to twist
language of a billion years into
unfurled flags while boys beat
storybooks out of dangerous rugs
dangling from the minarets.

I count morning prayers,
watch bombs reduce Baghdad's streets
for execution watch; at that fire
we begin to waltz from hell
from Milton's Paradise --
back to Allah and his Court.

In New Orleans missing man
useless lumber scattered
after flood where no creature
force could salvage human bones
by ignorant, insensitive storms
driven by intelligent weapons
into myth with Henry VI
and his entourage of political
bytes, lichens and molds.

Let the War of Roses end.
"The end of the world is near."
There is no island America.


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Comments by other Members

Beanie Baby at 20:43 on 04 January 2006  Report this post
Wow, Sean! This is incredible! It takes my breath away - it has so many images, smells, sounds to it that I felt as I'd been caught in a spider's web! It is very, very you and I really think it would make a fantastic performance piece ( and I am sure I have said this about your work before). Not sure I can comment on any individual part because my head is still reeling. I can only say that I love it! And here's to many many more!

seanfarragher at 10:05 on 05 January 2006  Report this post
Thank You so much for your comments. I agree it could be a performance poem in that performing it from memory might add to the visual histories.

Thank You


Cornelia at 13:22 on 07 January 2006  Report this post
I think I will need a bit more expalnation about why the end of the world is near, although I know it's an attractive notion in some quarters. My sister-in-law, who is a Jehovah's Witess, assured me it was all going to end in 1985. Maybe, here, it is used as a quotation, like the sign carried by the apocryphal cartoon doom-sayer, and I assume it is a biblical reference. However, I can't really see the connection with the Wars of the Roses. As a Lancastrian, I do have some interst in this period of history.


seanfarragher at 19:31 on 07 January 2006  Report this post
The end of the world is not literally the end of the world (Note the quotation marks), but the disintegration of manners (treating people as you would wish to be treated) ...... The war of roses were wars of power, and excess, and the beginning of Nationalism after the Chrusades and the Years in which the Black Death laid waste. I use it as comparison to how in USA or in UK terrorism empties the spirit. I use it to show how wars of national policy, religion, or wars for oil, land or power empty the human spirit. It is not a religious poem, but a way of showing how deeply these last few years (underground or world trade) how order is imposed to twart disorder, and in so doing that NEW order takes away the liberties of the US Bill of Rights or the tradition of Magna Carta. Even the terrors of Ireland's IRA have been mitigated by this larger view of terrorism. What we recreate from the waste will answer the crime my allusion to the end of the world is near. It is not meant to be a dogmatic Christian, Hebrew, or Islamic ideology of dogma, but a poem about the general horror of 2005 and the possible world, worse for its unknowns, of the year 2006.


By the way I am a royal bastard, a descendant from the House of York.

Cornelia at 22:13 on 07 January 2006  Report this post
Well, it seems to me there are quite a few religious references here. Of course, we all have our own particular versions of history and its various versions and meanings. I don't claim illustrious ancestry, legitimate or otherwise - what I meant was that I have an interest in studying that particular period of history, having been born in the red rose county (it's the emblem for the university in my home town) but the so-called wars, or more accurately a series of battles, were part of a struggle for recognition of sovereignty based on divine right, as were most conflicts in England from Alfred's time when there was any doubt about the succession. Illicit seizures of the crown, unlawful heirs or a simple lack of them could lead to this period of uncertainty and attendant strife. It's true that foreigners (mainly Welsh or Scottish) intruded fom time to time to complicate matters. To be an unlawful king would lead to an uneasy conscience and civil conflict, as Shakespeare depicts in his history plays, based on the chronicles of the time. Rather than herald the end of the world, it was a serious enough matter for him that families should be divided in their loyalties, and once the rightful succession were to be settled all would be well. It was a strictly local, ie a national matter, althugh of course a strong nation was less vulnerable to attack from other countries. A season of peace and plenty could legitimate an apparently doubtful claim to sovereignty, a kind of holy seal of approval.The Chinese echoed the same idea in the 'Mandate of Heaven'which would entitle an Emperor to abslute power. The mandate could be lost and the right of the subjects to rebel affirmed should the ruler be ineffective in preserving peace. Of course, you are free to extrapolate, and surmise that Shakespeare underestimated the significance of events,and it may very well be that later conflicts are of a greater significance, but it seems to me the Wars of the Roses were a strictly British affair, rather than having international repercussions, let alone apocryphal implications.



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