Tuesday, September 16, 2014

So Who Can Blame the Drunkard?

So Who Can Blame the Drunkard?
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is also at the 400 year old Lord
Jagannath Temple where he pulled the chariot carrying the deity.
(AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Image source:  http://ibnlive.in.com/photogallery/4322-5.html

In a world, where life is feeding on other life to live,
We still converse on ethics – and mortal sins forgive.
Some speak of a creator, who set this all in motion.
They even bow to worship, with zeal in their devotion.

But who is this creator, so cruel in intent,
Who sets the seed to growing, to serve as condiment?
The cow will tend her calf with care, but then it will be taken
And butchered in the slaughterhouse – and roasted and partaken.

And even in our species, we see there is predation,
And this has been the basis of empire and of nation.
As asses, camels, oxen are used as beasts of burden,
So also are the billions who happen to be human.

The weight that workers carry is the labor that they do,
In the farm and in the factory – including me and you.
One labors with the muscle and another with the mind.
To the one who reaps the profit, they are drudges of a kind.

The poultry and the cattle may be slaughtered for their meat,
And if, from this, they rebel, they are easy to defeat.
The peasant and the worker, they are harnessed to the wheel,
And when there is rebellion, it is met with fire and steel.

The human mind is devious – in guile, a true exemplar.
And many are the traps it sets for those of us who’re simpler.
The spider nets its prey in webs.  Our predators enmesh us.
We pay the rent and interest, and drive the cycle vicious.

Behold, the great colossus – the juggernaut erected.
Observe its gears and crankshafts, by oil-of-man protected.
It roars and whirrs and grumbles. It moves and yet remains.
It seems that it is living – with labor in its veins.

For the engines to be running, that power the contraption,
The workers must be working, providing thus the traction.
For even the petroleum, to be flowing, needs their work,
And dire is the prognosis, for the ones who try to shirk.

For what had once been local – the landlords and their fiefs,
The herders who were herded, beholden to their chiefs –
Is now transformed to global.  The feeding chains extend
From Zululand to Zurich – and through the nations wend.

So there is no escaping. The tribal lands are torn,
With newer forms of serfdom, in every season, born.
And if there is resistance that slows the flow of cash,
It’s met with machinations that burn the brave to ash.

Who labors in the mineshafts, and is, of toil, relieved?
Who tells a tale that’s honest, and yet is still believed?
Who seeks the path of reason and isn’t robbed of wits?
Who stands against the dollar and isn’t bombed to bits?

The gods that men conceived of are also put to use.
If king and god command it, who dare the twain refuse?
And so it is that Yahweh, who thundered in the wild,
Is called to aid the conquest, and man and earth defiled.

So some may need convincing that there ever was an Eden,
That the god of the commandments was distinct from him called Satan.
For the evil seems intrinsic – and the world is steeped in sin.
So who can blame the drunkard, who seeks to drown in gin?

So do not pray to Krishna, the one of cunning wiles,
And do not dance for Kali, or think that Jesus smiles.
And Allah still is raging, and Shiva is asleep –
With Brahma, he is snoring, in intoxication deep.

2014 September 16th, Tuesday
Brooklyn, New York


Anonymous said...

You give me much happiness and joy with your beautiful verses.
I am so glad that there is a man like you Arjun to make my life a little more interesting and more thoughtful. I can well agree with
the ideas you reveal, also.

Have a happy week. Regards to Weisin and family.

Rest regards,
Your friend,

Arjun Janah said...

If only every would-be poet had a fan and a friend such as you, Jim, the world would be so overflowing with verse that every city on Earth would turn into an Amsterdam, a Venice, or even a Tenochtitlan. ;-)

But even then, one might be hard put to find a versifier who was so given to copious and interminable reflections and harangues as is this one. ;-)