The They Conspiracy

They sprinted away from the railway bridge.

Twisting passenger cars seemed froze in mid fall;
Buckled steel,
Bent iron,
Screams, muted in a naked moment of realization;
Vomiting, unwanted – unprepared for – understanding.
Witnessed seconds before unimaginable – change.
THEY – won’t care about this observation.
“Who were, ‘they?’” the wolf will ask.
‘You said, ‘They sprinted away from the bridge.’”
“Because hell was falling.”
“Not why, but who? Who sprinted away from the bridge?”
“The sheep.”
“Yes, sheep.”
“It’s hard for us to imagine sheep sprinting.”
True, that was my thought, unless, they were wolves in sheep clothing. Now I’ve seen wolves sprint. What do you think, Mr. Wolf?


15 thoughts on “The They Conspiracy

  1. Henry, you’re another poem with a distinct voice. I like how you dialogue with the wolf and the strong metaphoric message you put forth. Perhaps the sheep don’t care because they are too afraid to feel. It sometimes seems that we are so drenched in horrible headlines that inure ourselves to emotion.

  2. ha. i like it much…very dramatic opening…the wreck of the train…and then the switch in the middle…the dialogue of the wolf with the writer…ha…that is where this relly shines for me…i love the unpredictable…you can read other things into this as well…there is always a they to blame….

  3. Very unexpected (which I expect from you!)–the opening, with its vivid descriptors, had me thinking you were going to ride that image all the way through, but the shift from the human perspective to the non-human brought a whole new approach. Very well penned, engaging and thought provoking!

  4. A voice. Definitely an individual voice. Always something just that bit different and intriguing. Love the puzzling perspective and I’m sure there is more to it than meets the eye 🙂

  5. I have read this a few times now and am trying to figure out the relationship of the first half to the second half, but am admittedly puzzled by the second. The first half I definitely GET. And so true that “they” won’t care about anyone’s obsservations!

  6. Okay for anybody that may still read this poem or check back. Yes poem in two parts. Part one an eye witness account of a captured frozen bit of time in the midst of a tragedy AND a scene prior to the incident. A memories that will stick with the witness, no doubt. Part two, like after most tragedies of this nature, witnesses are interviewed, for many reasons. In this case we do not know who is doing the interviewing, could be from the authorities or from the perpetrators.
    At this point THEY are more interested in who or what the witness saw sprint from the railway bridge just prior to the incident. THEY either want to know clues to identify the ones sprinting away, or THEY want to know if THEY were recognized.
    This does not say which THEY are responsible. But that the THEY that committed the possible crime, were more concerned with the details of those sprinting away. Not many would have experience with this, but i would imagine someone tramatized by witnessing such an incident may wonder who they are actually being interviewed by, and for what motive. The statement being, lost trust. And it’s a shame that citizens of any land do not have the trust they once had in their leaders, whether during tragedy, or just politics. There are many reasons for this, but all out of control of the citizen. Anyway, just in case you were wondering. And I am not going to blame translation on this. No more excuses. I will learn to write more understandable, or somewhat more understandable, I still think the reader needs to do a little work : ).

  7. This is a really intriguing poem, as conspiracies often are. You capture the power of the questioner with the disoriented witness. Use of simple words, such as “THEY” can be so influential. It’s like asking someone if they “saw car a”, or “saw the car”, the latter makes it seem that there must have been one, while the former keeps the possibility open. It would be so easy to distort someone’s recall or twist to their own ends the witnesses confused and shocked state. Gives me tingles!

  8. Great process note, Henry. I came back to thank you for your comment on my poem and, of course, there is much resonance. I knew it the first time I saw “your” tree. Differences are on the surface.

  9. I agree completely that without asking something of the reader… that they work… we are underestimating their intellectual capacity to some degree. We don’t have to ‘get’ what is going on with a poem (even though I do appreciate you taking time to explain process) to enjoy the poem and have it mean something to us personally. So, kudos to you for writing something we have to work at!

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