Copyright 1983, S Hartwell

 A vast city lies, a sleeping giant,
Its millions trapped in an urban tomb,
A million drab-dressed, faceless people,
Are choking on the factory fumes.
While some faceless voice drones from loudspeakers,
Ubiquitous political propaganda,
And down below on the endless pavements,
In the haze of fumes, the people wander.

Shoeless, ragged, lowly people,
Cannot bear to face a stranger,
Clothed in rags, devoid of money,
Notice not the propaganda.
Homeless hundreds die in squalor,
While the empty promise continues,
And the people cough and splutter,
Dying of the smoke and fumes.

The tenement blocks rise gaunt and lifeless,
And voices scream behind closed doors,
Pollution’s misty choking tendrils,
Rise up from where the traffic roars.
Grime paves all the unlit alleys,
Unrelieved by grass or trees,
While enslaved by filth and decay,
The people rot like fallen leaves.

Copyright 1985, S Hartwell

Who will save us now?
We have fallen from grace in the face of the Lord,
Broken his rules and our duties ignored,
Mistreated his land and its creatures destroyed
And now the sky is dim with his gloom,
Sullen and grey and portentous of doom.

Who can help us now?
Who can absolve out minds of the crimes of our hands -
The abuse of our kin, the misuse of the lands?
We have strayed from his way and now we are damned,
Now his great anger turns the heavens to grey,
The air stagnates and the sun goes away.

Who will save us now?

Craven and lowly, corrupt and unholy and ill,
We have erred many times and rejected his will,
Now the old prophecies have at last been fulfilled,
We have laid waste the world, it is barren and dry,
And in his great anger the Lord bids us die.
Who will save us now?

Copyright 1982, S Hartwell

The cold silent streets below are veiled in darkness by the night,
As I stand at this glassless window watching a city die,
Once in lamplit lanes I strolled, but now at a window bare
Above the streets, so newly dead, all I can do is stand and stare.

A different world beats below those streets, halogen-bright, still clean,
But missing from the subways deep are the sun and rain and breeze,
While here above in twilight's chill, a cool breeze is crying,
I look towards a horizon red, watching a city dying.

My world is dying, but yours is dead,
No sun or grass or trees.
The fires are painting the dark sky red,
And screams drift on the breeze.

Down below in the sunless world, where there is fresh, still air,
No cold, no rain, they do not feel this breeze which gently stirs my hair,
I watch the fires sweep the streets and turn the sky to red,
From where I stand I can see eternity in the watchfires of the dead.

Far away there is a sound - a church bell mourns, blown by the wind,
Its voice calls through the thundrous bombs, "Forgive us Lord for we have sinned".
This world is shrouded by the smoke of the warriors' burning dead,
And soon I too must flee the fires gold, and join those who below have fled.

This world is dying, a dark war roils,
Fed by hate and greed,
Two armies fight for scorched earth spoils,
And screams drift on the breeze.

Copyright 1982, S Hartwell 

I still recall those long-gone bliss-blessed days,
Of that pulsating world of light which was our womb,
Before the life-beat throb of those idyllic ways,
Became the cold still silence of a tomb.

That sweet world of ecstasy has long since fled,
Long-gone the pleasures, the delights, the joys so pure,
Consigned to the realms of mem’ry, a dream age dead,
For, like all good things, life could not endure.

Infinity must end, eternity cannot forever last,
No longer can bliss-city’s heart of fire pulsate,
No longer beats the heart that fed the past,
With vibrant thrills and pleasure’s ever cloying taste.

Copyright 1982, S Hartwell

Thank your luck you weren’t around,
When this world turned upside down,
When the cities glowed and died,
And sickness lived in the countryside.

Just be glad that you weren’t here,
To see the spread of death and fear,
When back to front this world was turned,
And we learnt things lost and lost things learned.

The only law was the law of might,
Of murd’rous knives in the screaming night,
Thank your luck you weren’t about,
When this world turned inside out.

Copyright 1981, S Hartwell 

Helios, planet of the sun,
Where pure crystal-sparkling waters run,
And liquid sunlight pours from the green-gold sky,
To which Sunlight City’s thousand-hued domes rise high.
The dazzling golden sands of time,
Glisten sunlit; scintillate and shine,
While below the domes of iridescent hue,
Through ample meadows, crystal waters flow far out of view.
But from sunset tinted tides, from silver seas,
The tides of change break on the golden beach.

A planet scarred by battles bloody,
Where rivers flow rich and ruddy,
And a sullen fire glows in the brooding skies,
Ruby tinted from the pyres mounting high.
Tainted beaches strewn with the price of war,
Torn bodies; fresh, sticky, glistening gore,
While below the burnt-out domes stained red,
Through our barren land has a creeping river bled,
And from crimson tinted lapping tides from troubled seas,
The tides of blood break on our defiled beach.

Copyright 1984, Sarah Hartwell

When all the stars start falling down,
From the tired skies onto the ground,
And through the heavens flies the Angel of Death;
And the seas boil up from the ocean floor,
And hurricanes and cyclones roar,
And all men feel the Devil’s fiery breath.

The sun goes black in a darkening sky,
From crevasses Hell’s daemons fly,
The earth spews forth its molten rivers of stone,
As volcanoes belch with dying might,
Their plumes of fire into the night,
Far below the earth begins to moan.

The wind howls ‘cross the frightened plains,
And figures leap, all clothed in flames,
As ash and cinders rain down from the sky.
The land collides with other coasts;
From their graves rise shrieking ghosts,
Who scream that Judgement Day is drawing nigh.

When all the stars have fallen down,
Onto the charred or flooded ground,
And lofty mountains shake into the seas,
The dead earth spins, a barren stone,
And in the blackness, daemons moan,
Their cries of torment borne by the stale breeze.

Copyright 1984, Sarah Hartwell

Sitting at the foot of a fiery mountain,
Listening to the roaring wind,
And waiting for a flame in the darkness -
Waiting for the end to begin;
For the womb of the earth to tear open,
Releasing the daemons within,
And the skies lit in flames for a final brave dawn,
That’s when the end will begin.

Copyright 1983, Sarah Hartwell

We’re leaving together, to this life goodbye,
No-one left to tell them we don’t want to die,
No-one left to question why it ended this way.

We fool ourselves, we hold our heads high,
Hold back the tears from our grief-moistened eyes,
Our souls are screaming in protest, they cry:
“Why does it have to end this way?”

Condemned, we hold back our tears,
Dying, we won’t show the fears,
As we pray soon it will end, soon we’re leaving;
Our faces brave, our hearts and minds grieving.

Copyright 1984, Sarah Harwell

Mother of mercy and sister of sorrow,
Weep not today but wait for the morrow -
Tomorrow may bring to you woes yet unknown,
While today the world needs not your soft tears ever flowing.

Sister of sadness, dry the wells of your eyes,
Rejoice while you live - does the world fear to die?
Yesterday cannot be changed by infinite tears,
So smile and see joy in the coming years.

Sorrowing sister be divorced from your woe,
Save up your tears for the times yet unknown,
They are wasted on dusty mem’ries of old,
And they darken your mind to the days which unfold.

And when wise men of old start to turn in their graves,
When dark evil descends and no-one will be saved,
And when even the dead would weep for this earth,
Then let loose all your tears on mankind’s behalf!

Copyright 1991, Sarah Hartwell

I keep a dream diary by the bed and sometimes write quite long poems in my sleep - I have to write fast when I wake up! The following about the faerie host withdrawing from our world came with an intense feeling of loss and longing.

Silently now we steal away,
From the garden earth where once we played,
And from this orb withdraw our light,
Before the shadowed world of sight,
As like children, tiptoe quiet,
Sneak away from games and allies,
We snatch back from humankind,
The gifts we would have left behind.

So let us leave this tainted place,
To the mercy of the savage race,
Which some call MAN and which aspires,
To deify itself and then reach higher,
And gentle folk away shall flee,
On solar winds and aether's seas,
To find another playground pure,
To find a world we CAN endure.

Copyright 1989, Sarah Hartwell

These verdant vales once shone with dawn
Till Hell's ancient daemons brought discord,
Peace exiled from a land rent by strife,
The good in man is crushed as wars extinguish life.
On screaming dark wings flew Angels of Death,
Stilling cries and stealing breath;
Man fought daemon and confusion walked abroad
And chaos ruled this ruined kingdom by the sword.
Till men ceased their struggle 'gainst the beast,
Gave up their freedom from the safety of their knees.

I have not ceased; the battle in me rages,
Its shrieking clangour echoes through the ages,
Only when the souls of darkness flee away,
Will I let my weary body turn to clay.
I'll not cease this fight while I remain alive,
My kinsmen fall, but I still survive;
Until at last there breaks that yet more glorious dawn,
And I too can rest and face the golden mom.

Copyright 1989, Sarah Hartwell

Night's crystal shatters in a myriad sparkling splinters,
Twisting glittering stardust, shards of iridescence,
A brighter dawn is glowing on eternity's horizon,
Reflected in a million crystal raindrops opalescent,
Visions trapped in crystal orbs escape to find reality,
Freed by the splintering of the cold crystal totality,
I catch a twisting crystal splinter in my hand,
And that golden dawn lights up our troubled land.


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