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Ian Emberson Poems
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Violence ( Goya "The Third of May 1808") by Ian Emberson
The brain - the brush
here celebrate
that long red stain
seeping the universe .

Was not the chink of light
peeping between the walls
of birth - of death
transient enough ? -
and yet this trivial massacre
must shorten it .

And only one protests -
that man
white-shirted - arms upraised
in one last gesturing
of affirmation .
If he had got the time
he might be singing -
might tell them
that life still has its treasuries to open
for him at least -
perhaps for them .

But these are no times for song ,
only that flinging of his arms
is yet permitted him ,
and all his dazzling white
and blaze-dark eyes
are but a silhouette
against the symmetry of dying .

One moment hence
or rather but a millionth of a moment
and life will be a full stop
- filled with blood .
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