The Signs of the Age
All of these prophets: This is the age of disquiet. The scattered listeners, those men and women for whom the word of what is to come comes down to, they hear the sound of disquiet. These are truly the last days. Or, at least, they will be. A dark wind blows, a wind of authoritarianism, of supposed democracies, old powers that still have the capacity to hold on to their undeserved empires. It was impossible to deal a killing blow to corporate warmongering and corruption. And the first of the prophets, she did her part to fight for what was right from the distant buried shadows. She was not overwhelmed by the cities that looked more like mass graves than hubs of civilisation, nor any of her darkest foresight.
But hers was a brief age. Those who follow her, now, though they may know it not, see the flames rise over the horizon once again, a concluding sunset, a nuclear war. The prophecy is not a gift to them… or it is a bitter gift, a scroll that barely had the taste of honey before turning bitter. The prophecy shows them that the world is weaker than they once believed. That the girders, the steel that is supposed to hold it up, can melt, and all will be tombs and poppies.
One day, when the fear reaches its peak, the first strike has been made, and the world lives between war and annihilation, one shall gather them, shall bring together that great convocation of the prophets, those who live under no flags, under dead flags, and she who gathers shall fall in love with the principal amongst them, she who was blind to the future but not to the signs of the age, and they shall kiss even as they fight tooth and claw to save the earth. So many buildings fallen. So many disturbed nights, with sewer torrents of sickening inhumanity pouring into their dreaming eyes. Too many people struck down by what is coming. Some thinking themselves feverish, some mad, some merely fanciful, if it wasn’t for the disquiet.
The more broken amongst them think it beautiful, for they have tired of this world, have longed for some kind of revolution, of apocalypse that will free them from the minor tyrannies, of blood splattering onto the land. They pray that Mammon will be gutted, that viscera will pour forth from the horde of wealth by holy exsanguination.
All of them agree with a key sentiment:
“We woke up one morning and fell a little further down – for sure it’s the valley of death.”
All these prophets speaking doom and at last no-one thinks them fools.
Author’s note: I have written a poem inspired by the Dead Flag Blues in the past (read it here: http://marvintheparanoid.deviantart.com/art/Cover-Version-Dead- Flag-Blues-77217485 ) and I was reminded that I had recorded a version of it. I’ve added some music inspired by the Godspeed piece to it and uploaded it here: http://www.last.fm/music/Conclusive+Proof+That+There+Is+Still+B eauty+in+the+World/Litany+of+Temper/Dead+Flag+Blues