The Canary in the Coalmine

The canary in the coalmine

of a culture lost at sea

is when the tides like tidings

shift the use of ‘we’ to ‘me’.

It’s the stake we stake to gain one

and the rope we loose to hold

and the winds we brace to chase

a bloody basin full of gold.

It’s when a Midas media

so turns our love to lust

and drowns the seeking sailors

in the clutches of its rust.

When the bards are pinned by poems

and the sirens flop their speech

and the masses lose their glasses

when the snakes begin to preach.

Soon, our race divides the land

imbedded in its claim

and everyone’s a jailer

on a whaler riding blame.

The canary in the coalmine

of a culture manned to fail

is not all men are set to sink

if some so learn to sail.

-Amy Struthers


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