All, Poetry

Last (Poem)

Whilst working on the concept / script for a film I’m planning I set myself the goal of inhabiting the character of someone left as the last person alive… how would it feel to be in that extraordinary circumstance? How would the mind react?

Last (Part 1)

Alone, at last, or last alone?
No other here to claim my throne.
King for a day, a month, a year?
Who knows how long I’ll survive here…
Last one alive, all others lost,
I may rule now, but at what cost?
“My kingdom for a horse!” I’d offer
But there’s no one to whom to proffer
Such an exchange in any case
No one to haggle with, to face
Besides a deal would be for naught
When in a world-less world your caught
What would I do with such a steed?
With none to visit and none to heed
Ride like eagle taken flight
Racing the day until its night…

Beyond, afar, we roam together
Seeking just a fortune teller
Who can reassure us now,
Maybe comfort us somehow?
An insight into others living
Directions to a haven giving?
Restore our faith in our own future
Like scripture quoting father preacher
That horse and I may travel on
Long after day and time are gone
Into the dark of man-less dusk
The world now just an empty husk
Devoid of human sound or laughter
Not just for now, but ever after
Despair descends like heavy fog
To capture man, and horse and… dog?

For canine joins our travelling band
Four and four and two we stand
Paws to join these hooves of ours
Trundling on for hours and hours
What was first city, become tundra
No welcome now for hapless wanderer
But we march on, the three as one
Witnesses to rising sun
Three shadows now we cast a new
As dawn greets us of day two

Two days? It seems a life ago!
That others worried to and fro
Minding themselves without a word
Members of the urban herd
Filling the streets, the thronging mass
To work, to coffee, to gym, to class
Busy, busy everywhere,
Oh how I miss my daily fare!
To pay again for train to town!
To see again commuters frown!
The silence of the noisy carriage
Together a commuters marriage
Everyday the same known faces
Off to office, college, races
Off to city to place bet?
Or maybe something better yet?
Collecting winnings lucky few?
Winnings that were due to you?

If only you had backed your talk!
With cash in pocket for a walk
To betting shop for latest odds
And to place bet with other bods
Whom likewise confidently back
Their certainty of wing attack,
Two great goals and final score
To set them up with so much more
Petty cash from petty flutter
No more living in the gutter
Now to live as kings with riches
Hope their social conscience itches
To pay back to their old home…
But mind returns as still we roam

Horse and hound onward bound
Searching for the lost and found
Miles now we must have travelled?
Past empty house and driveway gravelled
Not Wild West but more West Wilsden
Left to pigeons and what wills ‘um
Without the folk to chase and feed
What will become of avian greed?
Perhaps the pigeons will take wing?
Move to the woods and at dawn sing
The pigeony songs we never heard
From such a poor and ignored bird
But now released from mans contempt
The “flying rat” at last exempt
From our cynical “ignorations”
To weave their birdy incantations
“Over wood and leaf and dale”
All green and black and patchy pale
Now squirrels learn of our true fate
As air strikes strike their hairy pate!

Again I stir in makeshift seat
What time now? And why such heat?
As sun blazes down on us
Dog walks on without a fuss
Horse carries me without to-do
Complaining now is only who?
Yes, human, is first to moan
When so far away from home
Yet animals continue forward
Happy for just a friendly word
From the man, the mighty ruler
Like life’s last, lonely, jeweler
Last to hold the keys to knowledge
A one man civilisation college
Keeper of all science and art
But did I ever do my part?

So much I missed, ignored at school!
My lack of class now so uncool
As I struggle for survival
Humanity’s final archival
All we were and last I’m left
The universe must feel bereft!
Of all of men there’s only me!
What chose me to be last man?
Why must I carry the can?
At the wicket, under pressure…
The road signs a final gesture
“You’re last man and don’t forget it!”
As if, in some way, I’m not fit
To carry this burden all alone
Am I the first seed to be sown?
In some new age, some bright tomorrow?
Toiling to plough a new furrow
Or last man standing at the end?
No one left not one sole friend?
Alone, at last, but last alone…

We’ll see what happens to our traveller if / when I have more time to step back into his shoes! I certainly like the way the horse first and then the dog appeared. They feel like guardian angels maybe? Or figments of his poor imagination? Faithful friends or a fictional family? I suppose only time will tell…

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