Shore of the Tortured City

Artemis Sere Shores of the Tortured City

This poem was written as a connected response to my colorful painting of the same name, featured as the cover of this blog and included below.

The piece captures the current gritty state of consumerism, society and humanity’s addiction to greed. It depicts the abstract silhouette of a burning metropolis, as seen from across the plane of the polluted water it edges, while civilization on land is engulfed in catastrophic immolation.

The painting features regular and glow-in-the-dark acrylic on 24 x 36 canvas with a homemade gesso base layer. 

Shore of the Tortured City

Today I burn
The worries of the human world
As kindling for kindness
As fuel for renewal
The anger seethes
And fouls the air
From shore to shore
Pushing despair

And excess

Too numb to notice
Too complicit to change
Too invested to deviate
Too wasted to rage
Dragged to the edge
By liars and thieves
Led to revenge
By savage needs

And avarice

Who are we
When the numbers are done
When time is up
And nothing is won
The pollution remains
To choke our lives
The bloodshed rains
To secure our survival

And dominance

United but separate
Controlling and violent
Fading yet present
Pious and silent
We the people
More different than same
We were never equal
Sold a winless game

And wicked genesis

Watch as fires consume
Our hopes and dreams
Deconstruct through flame
Ashen each standing beam
On the shores of tragedy
We welcome the fall
Of our constant torture
Once and for all

We welcome bliss

Artemis Sere Shores of the Tortured City

six seconds

It is said that if you make eye contact with someone for more than six seconds, without looking away or blinking, you’re interested in either sex or murder.

It is a curious statistic, as I find myself staring for too long these days, scoping out the humanity of the people around me, wondering what lies behind those sparkly eyes and made-up disguises. I stare, and people look away.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m testing them, to see whether or not they are human, or alien, like me.

When you think about it, you could use that power to freak out 10 different people every minute. Stare, make them wonder if you’re contemplating sex or murder, and then look away. Refocus your gaze to the next unfortunate person, and reset the clock.  If you did that to everyone in your orbit, you would create localized and palpable paranoia in the people around you.

Six seconds is all it takes to scare someone,

or entice someone.

All Empires Fall


All Empires Fall
(lyric inspired by “Fetch”)
Copyright 2008

If I told you the truth
Would it sound like a lie?
Words fail me daily
In the pursuit of why
We can’t change the past
And the present needs change
Yet the circle spins on
To a bleak day and age
And if I told you a lie
Would it sound like the truth?
We’ve pricked the vines
We’ve touched bloody roots
Our troubles run deep
To the core of who we are
And our smiles cannot hide
Countless desperate hours
These darkened days
Duskier with each decay
Too weakened to stand
Too beaten to remain
On broken knees
We beg and we crawl
Powerless and aghast as
All empires fall
When truth and lie
Sing the same simple song
And nothing makes sense
And harmony has gone
When written words fail
And hope fades from view
And silence separates
The false and the true
There I will hold
Ground against the pain
Perdurable in purpose
Irascible and shamed
For this shattered race
For this empire of us
For this fragmented hope
For this broken trust
These darkened days
Duskier with each decay
Too weakened to stand
Too beaten to remain
On broken knees
We beg and we crawl
Powerless and aghast as
All empires fall
Time doesn’t stop
Time doesn’t care
Time marches onward
Blank in its stare
We fight each other
We fight to the death
We fight to survive
Clutching each breath
This battle soon ends
And no one will stand tall
No ceremony to celebrate
As all empires fall
All empires fall