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Norman Crane Nov 2021
It was eighteen hundred and nine
when William Blake was visited
by a vision of the divine
angel, which sat upon his bed,
and conferred on him God's power
to raise—by speech—the faithful dead.
"As writing's done, now come the hour
to act," the glorious angel said.
"To blaze against the shadowmist
spewed by the dark satanic mills.
Thy sole command is thus: Resist,
for all the shadow touches, it kills."
Then the angel disappeared, and
Blake was left alone. "An army
of undead," he thought, "to stand
with me against the vile industry?"
So it was that Blake visited
crypt, churchyard and cemetery,
where by pure incantation did
he resurrect the very
victims of the mine and factory.
He spoke; their limbs burst through the soil,
skeleton-men singing, "Glory
to the Almighty!"  /  "Accursed toil
killed you, but I grant you new life!"
Blake intoned, and, gazing at them,
a sea of white frothing strife,
knew they would create Jerusalem.
When the British Prime Minister,
Spencer Perceval, learned of Blake's
sorcery, he sensed sinister
times, telling parliament, "Mistake
at your peril the poet's crusade,
inhuman in its unnature,
aimed at the progress we have made,
as rumour. The legislature,"
he said, "must brace for civil war."
Meanwhile, Blake and his bone legion
wrecked utter havoc in the north,
cleansing greed-sin from the region.
Coal production fell—ton by ton.
Parliament did send a thousand men,
but still nothing could be done.
They fought. Blake beat them. ‘twas then
that drowning in desperation
Perceval turned to the great
industrialist, Ward.  “Save our nation,”
he beseeched, “from its dreadful fate.
Our way of life is threatened, and
our common profits are at stake.”
Ward pondered. Then revealed his plan:
“A million souls, kiln-baked,
dismembered and reassembled
into one giant defender—”
“A million dead?” Perceval trembled.
“Would you rather we surrender?”
So it was done. Forced from their homes;
burnt, screaming; pleading for mercy.
From their congealed human loam
was born: a Titan of Industry!
Profit-seeking automaton,
one thousand feet tall. Steel plated.
Violent. With superhuman brawn.
Switched on—yet never to be sated.
“This beast,” said Blake, “we meet head on!”
as he rallied his undead troops
before their assault on London.
The city teemed with fresh recruits,
watching, waiting, in unabating
fog: their Titan’s excreted smog.
A general was just stating
how the fight would be a slog—
When Blake appeared on the horizon,
followed by a river of bone,
white warriors with sharpened limbs
under the banner of a tombstone.
“Now!” Ward instructed the Titan.
It lumbered forth: into the fray!
Met by the surging skeleton
wave, as Blake knelt down to pray,
and Perceval, looking away,
went mad from the clattering din.
British soldiers charged into grey
death. The Titan pushed deep within
Blake’s crumbling lines. Kneeling, he cried,
“Why, God, have you abandoned us?”
Ward laughed, and the Titan pounded
the undead into calcium dust.

Until—silence:

The Titan was the master. / Jerusalem would not come to pass.
  Oct 2021 Norman Crane
Carlo C Gomez
I'm on a bus,

I'm in a tunnel,

As the choppers fly low

Over the belly of damnation,

Looking down at

The fractured city

From the 44th floor,

I'm a gun turret,

Hit or miss

The light pours out of me,

Now I'm a solar panel,

A Christmas tree,

Powered up

And manufactured,

The sum of my parts

Somehow worth more

Than what it means

To be human.
Norman Crane Oct 2021
what's left when wonders fade
amusements end
and the games have all been played
could we even comprehend
such life without distraction
a life of focus:
a life of action
night's darkened mantle
respendently adorned
in stellar sparkles

tis like looking at
encrusted diamond jewels
on pitch black velvet
Norman Crane Oct 2021
blackbird alighted on a branch,
frosted branch,
     deepest winter,
setting free the accumulated snow,
which fell,
     slow,
     like flour through a sifter,
and in one descending
flake,
     we are,
a universe apart,
reflecting briefly in the dark.
Norman Crane Oct 2021
nothing is serious
life's a fleeting lark, he said
knifed—falling:            dead
Norman Crane Oct 2021
wake up, he'd said, she
remembered,
in a dream,
awakening reality,
and herself within it,
and the feeling lingered,
all morning
she saw through the translucent
world, as slowly opaqueness
returned, in the afternoon,
falling asleep,
again
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