Fung Glui had the sort of face that looked depressed. Even when he was happy, he had the countenance of one who was thinking that it was all going to go down the drain at any minute.
So when it was announced that the end of the world was coming, no one was surprised to see Fung Glui looking miserable. In fact, amongst the angst and distress that the forthcoming total destruction was bringing ahead of the actual event, it was quite easy to lose him in the crowd.
But Fung Glui was more than miserable. He was more than depressed. Fung Glui felt that his entire being was already dead. And he had good reason to feel that way.
He looked about the world around him and saw his family - moaning and wailing. "It's the end of us all" they cried. "We're all going to be killed" they sobbed. He couldn't really blame them, but ...
When he went out into the street, he saw a local shop keeper smashing jars of pickles on the floor. "All going to be destroyed" the man kept repeating, "All going to be destroyed. My business that I worked so hard to build" - smash a jar - "totally wiped out" - smash a jar - "My life savings gone" - smash a jar - "it's the end of my world". Fung Glui walked on past the man, keeping his distance. He couldn't really blame the man, but ...
A little further on a couple of young people were drinking and obviously out of control. "Fun before the end of the planet" they sang. They seemed to have lost their despair in their intoxication but Fung Glui could see the sadness that remained soberly in their eyes. He couldn't really blame then, but ...
Two very old men were sitting on the side of the road. They were talking of the past; of their lives; of their childhood. "I did so many things and saw so many things" one said to the other, "but now it's all going to be lost. My memories will die with the world" he said. "Mine too" said the other. "It's a calamity - it's terrible" and they both shook their heads. "It's the end of the world" they said together and put their heads in their hands. Fung Glui bowed at them with respect as he passed. He couldn't really blame them, but ...
A mother and father were cradling their children. The mother was sobbing, the children were crying and the father was ashen faced. "They'll never see the mountains. They'll never swim in our beautiful lakes" wept the mother. "They could have grown up to create beautiful works or art or wonderful machines" said the father, his voice breaking. He rocked his child in his arms and the mother clung to hers tightly as if to protect them from the unstoppable destruction. Fung Glui felt his eyes moisten. He couldn't really blame them, but ...
There was a hill where Fung Glui liked to sit. He thought he'd sit there now - it would be his last chance. He climbed the grassy slope to the top and sat down on the apex. From here, he could look down into the town at the villages weeping and crying, getting drunk, fighting and generally lamenting the loss of their village; their world; their lives.
But he didn't look down on them. He looked instead upwards. Up there, in the sky, was where the end would come - as certainly as this morning had come, as certainly as tomorrow morning would not. He thought of the villagers as he looked up - no, he couldn't really blame them, but ... they were so insular, so self-oriented. True, it was the end of their business. It was the end of their village. It was the end of their lives, of their children's lives. True, it was the end of their culture, of their history and of their world.
But it was not just their world.
For 'end of the world' was not the correct words - this was not what was going to happen. It was the end of the universe.
And, for the end of the universe, Fung Glui cried.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I hear the wind in the dead of night, and on it a million voices ride,
A world is crying out for help; vainly crying out for help,
But will it be denied?
I hear the babies at the milk-less breast; I hear them barely breathing.
I hear their mothers frantic wailing, “Help my child” I hear them wailing,
And then I hear them grieving.
I hear the suffering of the sick; I hear their tired cough,
I hear their groaning, exhausted moaning,
That they’ve finally had enough.
I hear the shouts of angry families, torn by abuse,
I hear the violence never ending, the pitch of voices, all ascending,
And, after, the excuse.
I hear the echo on the streets, of footsteps through the night,
I hear the homeless search for shelter, anywhere offering secure shelter,
Who will ease their plight?
I hear the wind in the early morn, bringing sounds of war,
A world is crying out for peace, vainly crying out for peace,
With a voice we just ignore.
I hear the injured soldiers scream; I hear them as they die,
I hear their families broken hearts, shattered lives, and funeral carts,
I hear them as they cry,
I hear the rumble of explosions, of terrorist attack,
I hear the piercing shriek of sirens, the futile warning of the sirens,
My resolve begins to crack.
I hear the wind that rolls the waves and whispers in the trees,
The world is calling out for care; vainly calling out for care,
But, the consumer disagrees.
I hear the cracking of the earth, drying in the sun,
I hear the plaintive cries of sheep, as they lay them down to sleep,
The lullaby of the gun.
I hear the protestations of a planet under stress,
The mournful cries of hunted whales, of ducks, of rabbits, and of snails,
The painful end to human pest.
I hear the heartbeat of the planet, no longer strong and sure,
I hear the earth’s lamentations, victim of our own temptations,
Exploited to the core.
Oh, the wind that turns the sails of the windmills of our souls,
Hear it call and cry in earnest, screaming whispers in deadly earnest,
Silenced by opinion polls.
Harken to the praises of the foolish, for their paper gods,
Their frenzied babble of devotion, to plastic life and cheap emotion,
And wisdom built on winks and nods.
I hear the lost who call for succor, unsure where to turn,
Who blindly stumble through confusion, in the darkness of illusion,
Seeking truth they can't discern.
I hear the wind in the dead of night, and on it a million voices..... fail.
Each hope and prayer and expectation, mangled for media mastication,
Just Love 'em or hate 'em, 'till the news is stale.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
"Dance for me" asked Herod.
But the answer was always the same. No.
He'd asked many times - pleaded even, but always, everytime, without fail, the answer was the same. No.
He almost didn't ask again. Almost.
But he did ask just once again and this time the answer was YES. He could hardly believe his ears. The answer was YES. Finally, he was going to get to see the dance. He almost felt faint - the excitement, the anticipation - it was so great that he almost couldn't contain himself.
'Yes', the answer was 'Yes'!
He was sitting with his legs drawn up to his chest like a child. His eyes were sparkling like a teenager. His breathing was fast and furious and his pulse raced. It was going to happen - it was actually going to happen. And it was going to happen now.....
Herod felt his adrenalin literally spurting round his brain.
The lights went out. He drooled slightly.
The music started. He dribbled.
The scent of the dancer tingled in his nostrils.
And then the lights shone out and the dance began.
An enormous giant of a man gyrated before him, holding a large salmi in his hands. It was happening.
The dance of the salami.