. MISERERE | London Progressive Journal
A non-partisan journal of the left.

MISERERE

Sat 8th Dec 2018











A spindrift choir, surpliced

in cast-offs – a Pepsi t-shirt,

print-dress flippant

with daisies – moves across

the African sand. Adored

at a distance by cameras,

they falter and stop, grouped

like charcoal scratches on

bright paper.

Microphones

on stalks cast skinny shadows,

kiss their cracked lips.

Thirty voices rise like

rustling wings, singing the

songs of scripture from

the times of servitude.

Harmony drifts in the blue heat,

its lie a palliative: with

art intact, the soul must

thrive, hope must prevail.

We feel your pain,

so beautifully framed.

Then rising through

the ragged order of

those thirty voices,

winding up the lattice

they have woven, is

the counterpoint of

a baby’s cry. A single

treble, freed from the

sugar bonds of melody,

out of a beakless hole

in the front of a

bird skull, rising,

rising, wordless.

This is the purest

music of all.

It sings

of chaos and the

end of times and,

hearing it, we shrink

back to our roots.

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