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WINTER 2019-2020


John A Brennan


He stole a false face from an ancient gallery and fled, and as he ran, the hard to swallow pills rattled in a tin cup in his pocket, bones of contention vibrated in his ragged shoulder bag,  pebbles in his shoes stung the soles of his feet, lies and innuendo seared his festered, breathless mind and the dice rolled on. An incessant cacophony assaulted his senses with cries of he-said, she-said, vote left, swing right, go east, go west, my God is best, heaven is up, hell is down, my truth, half truth, no truth, vote yes, just say no, push the button, drop the bomb, burn the crops, shoot the messengers wailing at the walls. 

Children, afloat in the rivers, screamed for mercy 'til his eardrums burst, the starving masses huddled disconsolate, the displaced millions shivered, the unwanted and the weary cried in unison in vain, see me, hear me, feel me, touch me, help me, oceans awash with corpses of the dispossessed mocked his heavy heart, his lofty illusions lay shattered on the ground behind him and his dreams lay mutilated in the ditches on either side of the road. Dropped stitches, burning bridges, fallen idols, glass houses filled with stones, all wasted and useless, jeered him and his idiocy and the flames, the flames seared.

The earth shook beneath him, shock-waves rumbled, their shining cities on either side burned, flames leapt higher and still they would not stop, still they persisted, still they insisted. The crossroads lay up ahead, they were already there, scattered and lost like lemmings, not knowing which way to go, clueless and arrogant. All that they had learned, all that they had dreamed, all that they had achieved, gone in the blink of their jaundiced, watery eyes.and still the oil flowed, hungrily bled out of the earth, still their mountains of gold piled higher, still their vaults overflowed and yet still, their cigars burned bright. 

At the crossroads they turned left, saying go this way, at the crossroads they turned right, saying no, come this way, at the crossroads they went ahead saying, follow us, we know the true way, and all he could do was shout as loud as his heaving lungs would allow, STOP. STOP. TURN BACK.TURN AROUND...but they kept on going and his mask slipped and bitter tears flowed and etched deep furrows on his pitiful face.

John Anthony Brennan comes from County Armagh, Ireland. He left his beloved, sacred green isle many years ago to explore the world and has been island hopping ever since. He has traveled extensively, visiting many of the sacred sites and incorporates his experiences in both his prose and poetry as he believes that a common thread connects us all. He has previously written a philosophical memoir; three collections of memoir style poetry; a book dedicated to the musicians who died before their time and a book on the history of Ireland. He now resides in New Rochelle. NY





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