Been Here by G.M. Palmer

Full fathom five thy martyr lies
buried by uncaring hands;
his corpse an unrewarded prize
cradled by black and nameless sands.

Look East, look West: the world is change
and stasis; the river is the same
but still—its molecules are strange
and constant.  The body is a name,

not fleshy cells that will renew
until they won’t.  Built over will,
our human patterns hold us true
to ancient men we try to kill.

There is the murder.  Feel your arm
black with the called-for blood; don’t clean
it—revel in the divine charm
of death that holds you above the mean.

See the steel cities like marble rise,
devouring souls and belching wealth
on triremes triple-grown in size
and turned by machine; outsourced slaves

whose bodies languish in dank cells
greased with the slime of mother state;
the senate and peoples’ home small hells
made weak by resignation to fate.


About G.M. Palmer