Charles Bukowski

Here you will find the Long Poem The Sun Wields Mercy of poet Charles Bukowski

The Sun Wields Mercy

and the sun wields mercy 
but like a jet torch carried to high, 
and the jets whip across its sight 
and rockets leap like toads, 
and the boys get out the maps 
and pin-cushion the moon, 
old green cheese, 
no life there but too much on earth: 
our unwashed India boys 
crossing their legs,playing pipes, 
starving with sucked in bellies, 
watching the snakes volute 
like beautiful women in the hungry air; 
the rockets leap, 
the rockets leap like hares, 
clearing clump and dog 
replacing out-dated bullets; 
the Chinese still carve 
in jade,quietly stuffing rice 
into their hunger, a hunger 
a thousand years old, 
their muddy rivers moving with fire 
and song, barges, houseboats 
pushed by drifting poles 
of waiting without wanting; 
in Turkey they face the East 
on their carpets 
praying to a purple god 
who smokes and laughs 
and sticks fingers in their eyes 
blinding them, as gods will do; 
but the rockets are ready: peace is no longer, 
for some reason,precious; 
madness drifts like lily pads 
on a pond circling senselessly; 
the painters paint dipping 
their reds and greens and yellows, 
poets rhyme their loneliness, 
musicians starve as always 
and the novelists miss the mark, 
but not the pelican , the gull; 
pelicans dip and dive, rise, 
shaking shocked half-dead 
radioactive fish from their beaks; 
indeed, indeed, the waters wash 
the rocks with slime; and on wall st. 
the market staggers like a lost drunk 
looking for his key; ah, 
this will be a good one,by God: 
it will take us back to the 
sabre-teeth, the winged monkey 
scrabbling in pits over bits 
of helmet, instrument and glass; 
a lightning crashes across 
the window and in a million rooms 
lovers lie entwined and lost 
and sick as peace; 
the sky still breaks red and orange for the 
painters-and for the lovers, 
flowers open as they always have 
opened but covered with thin dust 
of rocket fuel and mushrooms, 
poison mushrooms; it's a bad time, 
a dog-sick time-curtain 
act 3, standing room only, 
by god,by somebody and something, 
by rockets and generals and 
leaders, by poets , doctors, comedians, 
by manufacturers of soup 
and biscuits, Janus-faced hucksters 
of their own indexterity; 
I can now see now the coal-slick 
contaminated fields, a snail or 2, 
bile, obsidian, a fish or 3 
in the shallows, an obloquy of our 
source and our sight..... 
has this happened before? is history 
a circle that catches itself by the tail, 
a dream, a nightmare, 
a general's dream, a presidents dream, 
a dictators dream... 
can't we awaken? 
or are the forces of life greater than we are? 
can't we awaken? must we forever, 
dear friends, die in our sleep? 

Anonymous submission.