Understanding Politics

by Luke Otley

Freedom is a word, nothing more,
some vagueness we gather
from grainless remastered photographs,
from movies, movies, billion dollar movies,
from fallen walls streaked with graffiti,
from balaclava clad strangers
who squint at us from tunnel time
until we glance away ashamed.

I watch gulls float overhead like simple ideas
stretched and sweated under the old moon,
transformed into howling savage things,
terrifying innocent interested enquirers
into quivering dumb dumbs
too afraid to ask
what everybody is wondering.

As infants our instincts taught us
to grip reflexively when something comes close enough to trap,
now concepts grow to unimaginable magnitude
and I’m left feeling as alone
as the first man to know the heavens
are not really heavens

at all, but an endless empty concert hall
where torrents of tiny giants clutter
The Dark Floor
as uncountable confetti strands
left like melancholy mementos
of a fantastically important party.