Monday, September 9, 2013


ASHES TO ASHES again again.

Don’t waste time waiting for a surprise
the truth has already come there will be no rise.
“Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus”
 “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes”
In the middle of the night when I trust
one would hope to hear
no sounds of man my ears are bashed as
I hear the report of gunfire again
and no police siren to answer it.
Where will the bullets fall this time?

Detroit is the place where
you don’t yell for your next door whatever;
they aren’t neighbors,
to turn it down
but kindly ask
with a few shots usually aimed up
but not always. Sometimes right at
the middle of a the 4 am party group.
Blood *shrug* nothing new about that
around here. A good rainfall washes it all away
even the spent rounds and ejected casings.

Detroit is the American city that got left behind
by all but the poets and her whores bad reputation.
Even I don’t care anymore.
I know I will spend the rest of my life here
and it’s not because of love or grit
or some odd fascination with drama
or bullshit spoken by pulpit pimps
or tax abated gimps of the gated community nation
calling me a demon for having a feeling
that this place has not yet burned enough to
be worthy of salvation now that
all the low hanging fruit has been picked.

I stay only because Detroit has always led the way,
and soon enough everyone is going to get a taste
the same kind of shit dreams projected pretty
on broken down brick walls
that once held workers and stations
that built things for America,
the nation encompassing a deadly and dying city.

Now that all the politicians in every place
have been tested they all know the right way
to take your money without getting arrested.

I am told by those that hold control from so far away
that I should know it’s for the greater good
that starving a place to death separates out those
with no worth from them that have the best to give
but they don’t, they are the fuckers, faking fakirs
takers not the, much lied for by government, job makers.

I don’t know what anyone far away from here sees
other than they are well pleased that Detroit doesn’t own them.
Not my problem they say today but the truth is
that even though the mirror is distorted
no amount of squinting can make me believe
“Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus”
Is anything more than an over taxed dream.

© M Durfee
With a little help from his friends



  1. well perhaps once this gets to all of us, you can be the model for how we are to live and deal with least there will still be poets eh?

    1. What an odd thought to think of a poet as the last human standing telling the story of the massacred to the dead. Brian this is the sort of situation where hundreds of thousands , millions need to come together with one mind and we in America can not even agree on something as simple as deep comprehensive background checks or a limit on the number of guns one individual needs. We'd rather watch our children die than lose what THEY in Power tell us is freedom.

  2. So you haven't seen a phoenix flying over the city yet, eh? When you write about your home city, you are always powerful.

    1. Rage is fire Jeff and fire is power production.

  3. Maybe we were never meant to be in one place. Maybe we are, in fact, hunters and gatherers meant to roam. To leave this place where there is no more food and move to the next one only to consume it and move again, and again, and again. Maybe we were meant to be the Walking Man until, exhausted, we make a final stand.

    1. Carleton without cities would there even be a tree left? A plot of natural grass that has not been turned under? If this place and these words be my final stand then I am prepared for all of my life is here with me from front to finish and I will die whole.

  4. Replies
    1. The American poor are wealthy by the standards of some countries Charles. The war has not even begun yet for most people. When food become beyond the reach of hundreds of thousands and shelter is lost to millions then you will see the war being fought. Right now they have blah blah blahed us to boredom and we no longer pay attention as a people. I still pay attention and allow no one to inform me what my opinion is.

  5. It just dawn on me that it's very rare for police to respond to gunfire here either, even when it's in the city. But people don't get all that worried about it. It's generally just some idiot messing around.

    1. Alice , what goes up comes down and simply because it has to make a dead stop to turn around from up to down does not mean gravity decreases its velocity. I never mess around with my shotgun, if I fire it, it will be to stop and kill. If the city police where you live do not respond it is because no one cares anymore, they have become immune and THAT is where it starts.

  6. I love your opening gambit......


    1. Cloudia The latin and translation of the city's official motto are from Fr. Gabriel Richard after Detroit burnt to the ground, fully and completely near every structure in the city burnt to ash.

  7. I'm waiting patiently for the resurgence...

    1. Galen sad to say your son may be waiting half his life for something to re-surge. Flint was getting class warfare fucked at the same time only just a little slower. And I doubt GM is done with you yet.

  8. How sad that this should happened to your beloved city & that other city may or will soon follow ~

    1. Grace, I am afraid that the corporate raiding of pension funds and 401's, IRA's and other retirement schemes was a well thought out plan and has been in execution for decades. 1980 at least when a man on the way to senility was the face on the stage, trained as an actor, believed as a politician by a majoirty and well used by the likes of Alan Greenspan and his unregulated market economy. An economic plan which opened the door for two things, A one world economy where some ships would sink and others rise and more importantly without regulation all of those Wharton Business school grads were turned loose to create any sort of legal theft from the majority to enrich the minority.

      I see too much fall out from '08 still that is happening all over the world. I don't think Greece for example would have ever called this a recession just because some rule book said that is what it was. Iceland was the nation on earth to stand up and take a courageous stand.

  9. Wow.

    This is too good for just one blog.

    I wanna reprint in Canada with full accreditation. Game?

    1. YOU do not need my permission Ivan. You gave me a break. I give it freely.

  10. A frightening view of a dystopian future for all, which, unfortunately, is very present in Detroit. Such a shame... It makes me sad while I marvel yet again at the skill of your verse...

    1. Vesper Gen X is going to find a way to make the boomers pay. They have to look out for themselves but what they don't see is that without sustainability and the continued transfer of personal wealth diverted to the stock market for upward transfer is that Gen Y is coming behind them and they are more ambitious and even a smaller birth rate.

      I do not believe in conspiracies other than the confluence of time, circumstance, and place. Dishonesty has become a way of life for them who seek capital from your savings.

  11. ...Put you up on Jackie Player's "Newmarket What's happening" page.It has a huge circulation out here in the whitebread burbs.

    You are already getting lots of comments on this poem...Strangely, many from Detroit (or is that so strange)? But local Newmarket Canucks like it too.

    1. How about a link to that page Ivan. I'm curious to see how many still believe.

  12. Mark,

    About your reprint in Newmarket, What's Happening: - 443k

    ...If that doesn't work, just google.



  13. Mark, here in 'burbia the house directly across the street from me got broken into and robbed at 2 in the afternoon. Five cops and two fire trucks were here immediately and they walked out a young man. Probably needing dope money. Very sad, but at least we had a good response. xo

  14. I'm sorry about what is happening to Detroit. Other cities are in bad shape but Detroit seems to be the one that has gotten it worse than others. I hope that it will be revitalized or at least changed in a positive way.


So Walking Man I was thinking...