in the ruins

Mark Conway

 
we drank in the remains
of ruined buildings
and we sat in a cave or
wrecked houses on farms given back to the bank
listening to men who'd been raised
in ways that were lost
and we strained to make out
the use of their news
they were crazy or passed out
speed notched with a cross
they drank from the flask and the mouth
they came in and shook off the rain
inflamed and dismayed
calm and arcane
the least one seethed chanting whitman for hours
then wept at the dregs of the fire
foam formed at the edge of their lips
we drank and waited for something to drop  
you and I looking and sifting
for signs written in wax
we were young we knew how to die
but not how to last
a small man who claimed he was blake raged
all night and probably he was
he had god in his sights  
white crosses shone in our eyes or acid mandalic
in the ruins the men talked:
seraphic and broken
glowing with gnosis and rubbish
we sorted their mad sacred words
these dog-headed guides to the life after
and the life after that
 
Copyright 2011 by Mark Conway. Used with permission of the author.

Further Reading

Related Poems
I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins
by Noelle Kocot
Ruin and Beauty
by Patricia Young
Poems about the End of the World
Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames]
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A Song On the End of the World
by Czeslaw Milosz
Apocalypse
by Gerald Stern
Apocalypse Soliloquy
by Scott Hightower
Continuity
by A. R. Ammons
Cruel Cogito
by Ken Chen
Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost
The Truth About the Present
by John Lane
The Very Nervous Family
by Sabrina Orah Mark