1519. The New World. The Spanish stand steady, hands on hips and hilts, and here it is, under a steel grey sky, that they shimmer in their dark death garden. The Dark and Dirty stand sated out there beyond the treeline, backs turned upon sand once golden for them to grasp, but the trees do not care.
The confounded minstrels compose a melancholy refrain.
Seaward glances over a shoulder, toward hidden nightmare coves. There is never an easy night’s sleep out there beyond the treeline. There are shallow graves out there beyond the treeline, beyond the treeline, where history and time are compost. The trees, the plants, they do not care. Under a steel sky shimmers the dark garden, awaiting its troupe of strolling players. The confounded minstrels perform a melancholy refrain to invite you to the ball, minstrels a few, buffoons you all.
Silence of a sort.
Tick…The hint of a sound, whiskers scratch across the smooth weave of a viscose pillowcase…Tock…The occasional breath, a distant gust of wind, rain against the glass…Tick…Glassy eyes stare toward and through condensation on the windowpane. At this most unearthly of hours it has created the greatest of damned and accursed storm cloud steel sky cataracts.
Tock…Cock a doodle doo…Cock a doodle doo…A bright new day is born.
Cistern toilet chain mouldy toilet homely stink curled bristle toothbrush bleeding gums, kitchen sink stares, gags clockwise, on half a cup of terrible stewed tepid tea toast, sibilant television talking heads stare vigilant, toast burnt…Tick…The split teabag leaves a silty runoff, brown, rusty water drains mud clogged gutter drain rain shards breaking glass industrial pop music in tinny earphones, trains clatter and screech through rusty sewers in the earth electric ozone baby, through rusty embankments plants feel their way down through rich mulch nutrients, under rusty red brick bridges over them brick crumbling, over rusty broken glass shards a shallow grave grit out there beyond the treeline plants feel their way up toward the daylight and, do not care, dogs cock their legs urine snarl shit excuse me excuse me skeletal umbrellas guns groans moans missing lost the human and never found dead condition position centre of it all see the sea see tea veeehement a voice here and there shrill voices here and gone please police broken bloodshot eyes thumbs on blue screens screams a million smiles to sell a million poster dreams shards screams die buy into this violent most delicate of flowers on the edge of the abys strangle die please fluorescent shimmer city telephones echo millions stutter, ringing into silence out there in empty spaces stutter stuttering and splutter spluttering and choking, choking, choking into strangled silence, no one, nothing, nothing at all, left for them to share.
Quite still, almost silent, under a steel sky, a dark garden awaits its troupe of strolling players, minstrels some, buffoons them all. It does not care.
The photograph "Steel Sky" © David F. Brandon, February 2017