Sunday, March 2, 2014



An empire, like a fiefdom, feeds
On fear and greed and evil.
There rarely is a shortage of
These victuals of the Devil.

There’s malice in the hearts of men.
It lies there like a snake.
And when the time is opportune,
That serpent does awake.

And many are the stories told,
That feed our pride in nations –
And in our empires too, that grow
Like spreading  infestations.

No empire could have conquered lands
Or lasted, sans this malice.
And though a nation spins its tale,
It’s one that’s fit for Alice.

So neighbor turns on neighbor,
And a brother on his brother.
What one may see as treachery
Is fortune to another.

We covet land, we covet more,
We covet till we die.
And though the simple truth is greed,
It’s covered by the lie.

We're fed the tales that we believe,
Where myth adds spice to fact.
And this concoction, we devour,
And with conviction act.

But there are also bonds that served
Us well, in clans of yore,
And these, by fiefdoms, utilized,
Result in yet more gore.

And humans have a tendency
To worship those with power.
They kick the ones “below”.  To those
“Above”, they bow and cower.

And this perhaps had served for our
Survival.  Yet we see
How it ensures that humans now
As toiling slaves must be.

And all these things I listed that
In human natures are –
They're utilized, in factories –
And in the fields of war.

So every virtue, in its turn,
And surely, every vice,
Is used by those, who’re canny, so’s
To tighten more, the vise.

We kill and die for nations as
We once had done for clans.
Our empires feed on horrors – yet,
Like horror-films, have fans.

Our soldiers march in step towards
Their deaths, in senseless wars,
And yet we justify what isn’t
Just – or blame the stars.

Our armies slaughter thousands in
The lands across the seas.
So terror stalks those ravaged lands,
Where horrors do not cease.
When we've unleashed the forces that
Subsist on human malice,
Can we then claim that we are still
As innocent as Alice?
And yet we celebrate our selves.
We hail our godly nation.
And we agree to feeding more
Our engines of damnation.

And so it was for empires past
And nations ‘round the world,
Who fought – and fight – in lunacy,
With men in ovens hurled.

And if the ones, who kill and die,
The bitter truth are told,
They still believe the sweetened lie
Which all of us are sold.

For phantasms are what they are –
Our nations, built by men.
And they dissolve when we attempt
Their nature, true, to ken.

For phantasms, we kill and die –
For phantasms and lore.
So was it in the past and so
It is, in blood and gore.

And yet there still are reasons why
The men and women die,
There’s reason why the children wail,
There’s reason for the lie.

And this is what we each must find –
And this takes time and trouble.
It’s only when we see the “why”
That we can prick the bubble.

But know – that those who’re heartless, find,
In every war, a profit.
And though they know on what they feed,
They’re never sickened of it.

As long as men are herded and
To herders, bow and scrape,
So long will they, from factories
And armies, not escape.

But when we men and women serve
No bosses, seek no slaves –
As  equals, then, we all shall make
A people, true, of braves.

When charity replaces more
The malice in our hearts,
Then empires will be starved – and so
Will all their evil arts.

But this will not be what we see
On rising in the morrow.
That dawn must break within ourselves
So we can end this sorrow.

When factories will crumble and
When armies will disband,
Then humans will be humans true –
And walk then hand in hand.

But this again is but a dream,
Until we make it true.
But hark!  You’ll hear the children scream –
Because of me and you.
We still have better instincts left
That at such things revolt.
But there are instincts too, that serve
To keep those calls on hold.

For if we try to answer them,
We may ourselves be lost.
How many hear that distant cry
And rise, to bear the cost?
For most will say, “Let children scream,
Out there, so far away.”
But when that sound gets nearer, will
We still then turn away?

2014 March 2nd, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York


1 comment:

Arjun Janah said...

Thanks to a reader and friend (V.) for several very helpful editorial suggestions, most of which I have tried to implement. I take responsibility for whatever faults of verse or logic still remain.