The Dumb Horizon

Spare the fat and trim the truth
Because, well, who needs proof
When mighty fools, by spooled
Threads of assertion, claim
The only rights that matter:
Integrity in shreds and Reason
Shattered –
World in tatters, teetering on
Manifold steep ledges –
All the edges sharpened
By the harping voices, shoring
Up the cowards’ power.
From their rusting towers
Choice has spoken: “Open up
The floodgates! Let the hate
Pour forth to course the blood”
That every drop in token spilled
May build a monument to vanity:
Behold! The dumb horizon!
See the threshold clear:
The great uncivilising of
Humanity draws near.
A world of fear instilled by
Monstrous hearts and
Broken minds, attending
To the end of Grace and
Wisdom killed – and all
For what?
To save the faces of an ugly few
And all they have accrued from
Mammon’s fast disintegrating
Mountain top.

State Shoots Liberty

Just as a golem wrecks at its own pace
And self-indulgent power learns to thrive;
There, at ground level Mercy yearns
To drive Humanity upon a wheel of Grace
And Tyranny’s obsessions to displace unto
Eternity. From lack derives a paranoia
Willed; Fear kept alive by misery as great
As ever faced. Swap Honour for dogmatic
Spin as slick as oil. Give us your lies, your
Metaphors; your huddled, clichéd, empty
Rhetoric; the grasping garbage of your
scheming jaws. Bring on the vague but
Weighted, wordsome tricks, and skim
The Truth beyond the darkened shore.


Inspired by ‘The New Colossus’ by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), a sonnet written in 1883. “In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty