Submitted by dalcassian on 22 July, 2008 - 1:58

Parables for Socialists 15


I am the Phoenix
I will not die!
I have been drowned in fire and blood
By open foes, devoured
By predatory allies and masters; reduced,
I rise again:
I saw Hitler loom above Rosa Luxemburg's grave
And then fled East
To hail his other self
I am the true Phoenix.

I hailed Stalin
Saviour and Father of the Peoples
The no-Tsar, Tsar,
The Peoples' own Red King
A comrade, dialecticked,
Though Stalin had built himself a mausoleum
To strut on, in triumph, dancing
On the poor dry bones and waxy blind
Forever silent ruin
Of the dead iconoclast, Validmir Lenin
I am the Phoenix

I saw Mao
And Mao's Red peasant army moving through
Shanghai's old streets
Where Chaing had butchered
Riding in triumph
To the palaces of my murderers
And I hailed Mao as God
My all-renewing saviour
I am the Phoenix
I never die

I fall in love with monsters
I cross bred with horror
My children were all monsters, or died young
Many are born dead
But I make Iife: I go on
I am the Phoenix

I am ignorant, credulous
Senseless, wayward, often fooled: often fooled
But I live,
And I will not die!
I torment seduce cajole rouse energise mesmerise
I am treacherous delusive self-deluding
Rest-destroying, death defying
Id-sprung, I make life!
I am the Phoenix.

I am the heart of heartless worlds
The sigh of the oppressed in vales of woe
Guileless, I have searched the Twentieth Century
For my fatherland
I have searched amongst verminous cults
For the cult, the saviour
That is not verminous
That saves. I have proved Carlyle right
It was a choice of an elite
And yet I live, reborn
I am prolific
I rise and go down, sometimes in blood
And yet I rise again and again and again
I am the Phoenix
I will not die

I am Caliban
Caliban overthrown, enslaved
Who would be mine own king again
I choose a shipwrecked drunken sailor on a beach
To be my saviour and my king, if he
Will kill oppressive Prospero
I am the serf who prays to the Devil
To the enemy of my enemy's God.
I can not die, I go on.
I am the Phoenix

I was in that grey old bearded man,
Who knew relentless death stalking him close,
Had claimed his children
And all his tribe:
He made me from green and sunlit grass
Beneath a window
And from blue sky
High above a Mexican wall,
Proclaiming I should live
Though he was certain soon to die
I give Iife. I am life
Id-rooted, I
I am the Phoenix
I will not die!

Workers will fight to live
To be their own king:
To give relinquish suffer fight
Knowing yourself a slave
You must know more than yourself
Or you will know less: I am more
Though often, often, I am less!
I am the Phoenix

I have seen Spartacus crucified
Ten thousand times
And then ten thousand times
And still I live, reborn,
I rise up out of the foaming blood, proclaiming
With Rosa, out from the Kaiser Wilhelm's jail
And on the eve of fiasco and death:
I was. I am. I will be
I will be because I must be
I am the Phoenix
I give life,
I will not die.

I am hope, Proletarian hope

I learn to see, I can see what lies behind
But I am born, and reborn, always, blind!

Sean Matgamna

(1988. Workers Liberty.August 1995)

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.