We are lions

We are lions.


We are lions in an antelope’s skin.

Half starved and mangy maned,

We fight the futile fight,

All our lives.


We are but flesh and blood

With hearts of steel

And foolish pride.


We stand as fragile dandelions

Easily crushed and torn apart.
Pitiful in our fragility,

But gallant as we set sail

And ride upon the winds.

We venture forth and up and over clouds

And entire towns

And we think we’re flying.


We are lions

With a thirst to conquer and explore,

A thirst that sometimes

Is seduced

By metal birds

Or steel contraptions

That place life or death

At our finger tips,

And we become a little trigger-happy

And forget

That even in the kingdom

Of lions and beasts and birds

There is a Code of Ethics

To which we’re bound.


We are lions

In our kingdom

Of concrete boxes and broken dreams

Of bitchuman

And No Stopping signs

And Highways to Heaven.


We strive forth

With the courage of a child

Not yet burned.

And we like to think we’re powerful

That we conquer and command

That we have tamed the mighty fire

And trapped it in a zippo

That floats about our pockets

To make doilies of our lungs.


We douse ourselves in gasoline

And shake our manes of fire.


And it would be almost funny,

If it didn’t hurt so much

To see the brave misguided

Fall like tin toy soldiers.

And it would be almost funny

If we could stop our stupid hearts

From swelling with the fictitious faith

That our bones can stand like pillars

And prop up a world that’s crashing down.


We’re playing dominos with skyscrapers

That we forgot to glue together

And so the top story windows

Fall to pieces like mosaics

Spitting shards of broken glass

On black businessmen’s umbrellas.


And we hide under bridges

Or lock our office doors

When the clouds belch broken glass

But the handyman’s on strike

Because there’s a crisis nation wide,

So we sticky tape our lives

back together.


And we fight the futile fight

All our lives.

And we cry endless tears

Over a milk truck highway crash

And the cows have stopped lactating

And their udders have gone pop.

But with 5% unemployed

We’ll get some migrants

To mop it up.


And when we’re finished sobbing

(And the mopping is complete)

We’ll start a shaky laugh

From a place so deep it hurts.

And we’ll smile

And we’ll hope

For no reason whatsoever –

Except that when fish fall from clouds

With bulging eyes and dripping lard,

And when the ocean laps and lags

Thick gobs of tar;

Strange thoughts start to cross an androids mind,

Thoughts of Hope and Love and Community…

They flash like “For Sale” signs

Behind our vacant eyes.


And we feel a tingle in our fingers

That could be a hint of life,

Or nicotine withdrawals.

It makes us so uneasy that we lift the metho

To our lips

And take little sips of poison

To put ourselves at ease.


But even in the shantytowns

And Detroit’s lonely lanes;

We still prowl the streets as lions

And play this futile game.


We are lions,

In an antelope’s skin.

We are but flesh and blood.

And as our flesh grows looser

And our blood runs ever thin

We start to see things clearer

As the world begins to dim.


In a tragic sort of irony

Our eyes will one day close


And as the shutters roll slowly down

We notice colours- before they go.

Blues and reds and greens

Amongst the cracked and cobwebbed grey

And we savour all the beauty

We fought so hard

To Jiffy out.


But, You are a lion

In an antelope’s skin.

And you have courage deep within.

And you aren’t afraid

Because you’ve seen it all before

And you remember pink and blue and green

And you still love their vibrance and their strength

And your blood is still red

And your eyes still blue

And your granddaughter’s favourite colour

Is still the yellow you remember.


And you ache a little for the years you spent asleep

And you hurt a little for the days wasted awake

And you cry a little for those you forgot to care for

For your inadequacies, your weakness, your mistakes.


You are a lion.

And you shed your antelope’s skin.

And you walk just one last walk

Around your dying kingdom.


And you look around your empire

At muted birds tweeting hymns

But you can’t hear their love songs

Or see their feathered beauty.

So you close your greyscale eyes

And you rest those limbs of flesh

And you forget about your empire

And remember their sweet melody

That gave you solace in the dark.


And then you wake and realise

That your hunger has been sated

And that for once you have no want.

You wake and you realise

That you have tasted Life’s buffet,

And that you have walked

Where others walked

And sometimes left new footprints.


You wake, and you realise that you are ready to sleep.

A sleep not induced by tiredness

Nor plagued with restless dreams

But a sleep unlike an earthly one.

And you feel it stretch out fingers

Of deep and rich dark strength

And curl around the edges of your lion body

Made of flesh.


It wraps its inky warmth around your heart

And You struggle for a moment

And a small fire flares up and burns.

It burns, o so bright

And it would almost be funny

If it didn’t hurt so much

To see the last courageous piece of life

Fighting, just to be.


And you lie there

With washed out colours

And your lips now finally sealed.

In a world that you once ravished

In a world that will cease to be.


One response to “We are lions

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