March towards heaven

History is revised and again revised
but those who died remain dead
and those who left, to a man,
are forever gone.

Evicted in the depth of winter
to wander the long acre
and graze nettles and dandelions,
meat and wine for starving mouths.

Shouts tear the fabric of night
and the stench of blight
races them to  docks
or a gallows where hope dies
or swings in the balance.

On roads where meat marches
on the hoof and grain falls
from over burdened drays
on the way to ports to pay rents
on holdings not fit to raise a hog
or a sow
never mind a child.

Wild eyed men and women
starve amongst the plenty
of a verdant land, the plan,
let them die off the land
give managers a free hand
to graze estates
cleared of tenant hovels
and grovelling filthy Irish.

We modern men hear the voices
of the hungry
and fill the lenten boxes
for the poor of Africa
and orphans of war,

We feed our fear for those near
by feeding the bodies of those afar
but still we hear the cries
of those dying on the roads
mouths green and black,
eyes slack ad they march
towards heaven

– Dave Kavanagh

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