Submitted by dalcassian on 22 July, 2008 - 1:58

Parables for Socialists 15


I am the Phoenix
I will not die!
I have been drowned in fire and blood
By open foes, devoured
By predatory allies and masters; reduced,
I rise again:
I saw Hitler loom above Rosa Luxemburg's grave
And then fled East
To hail his other self
I am the true Phoenix.

I hailed Stalin
Saviour and Father of the Peoples
The no-Tsar, Tsar,
The Peoples' own Red King
A comrade, dialecticked,
Though Stalin had built himself a mausoleum
To strut on, in triumph, dancing
On the poor dry bones and waxy blind
Forever silent ruin
Of the dead iconoclast, Validmir Lenin
I am the Phoenix

I saw Mao
And Mao's Red peasant army moving through
Shanghai's old streets
Where Chaing had butchered
Riding in triumph
To the palaces of my murderers
And I hailed Mao as God
My all-renewing saviour
I am the Phoenix
I never die

I fall in love with monsters
I cross bred with horror
My children were all monsters, or died young
Many are born dead
But I make Iife: I go on
I am the Phoenix

I am ignorant, credulous
Senseless, wayward, often fooled: often fooled
But I live,
And I will not die!
I torment seduce cajole rouse energise mesmerise
I am treacherous delusive self-deluding
Rest-destroying, death defying
Id-sprung, I make life!
I am the Phoenix.

I am the heart of heartless worlds
The sigh of the oppressed in vales of woe
Guileless, I have searched the Twentieth Century
For my fatherland
I have searched amongst verminous cults
For the cult, the saviour
That is not verminous
That saves. I have proved Carlyle right
It was a choice of an elite
And yet I live, reborn
I am prolific
I rise and go down, sometimes in blood
And yet I rise again and again and again
I am the Phoenix
I will not die

I am Caliban
Caliban overthrown, enslaved
Who would be mine own king again
I choose a shipwrecked drunken sailor on a beach
To be my saviour and my king, if he
Will kill oppressive Prospero
I am the serf who prays to the Devil
To the enemy of my enemy's God.
I can not die, I go on.
I am the Phoenix

I was in that grey old bearded man,
Who knew relentless death stalking him close,
Had claimed his children
And all his tribe:
He made me from green and sunlit grass
Beneath a window
And from blue sky
High above a Mexican wall,
Proclaiming I should live
Though he was certain soon to die
I give Iife. I am life
Id-rooted, I
I am the Phoenix
I will not die!

Workers will fight to live
To be their own king:
To give relinquish suffer fight
Knowing yourself a slave
You must know more than yourself
Or you will know less: I am more
Though often, often, I am less!
I am the Phoenix

I have seen Spartacus crucified
Ten thousand times
And then ten thousand times
And still I live, reborn,
I rise up out of the foaming blood, proclaiming
With Rosa, out from the Kaiser Wilhelm's jail
And on the eve of fiasco and death:
I was. I am. I will be
I will be because I must be
I am the Phoenix
I give life,
I will not die.

I am hope, Proletarian hope

I learn to see, I can see what lies behind
But I am born, and reborn, always, blind!

Sean Matgamna

(1988. Workers Liberty.August 1995)