We wake again to news too normal,
in times that wrap around us
with putrid tentacles of decay.
death drove in from Illinois and
haunted a spring morning.
In another place, workday
carnage bloodied a warehouse;
Bombs and blades and bullets fly, as
humans again forget themselves,
and cannot forgive or love…
“I sit in one of the dives
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night….”
with monotonous regularity.
The Greeks knew them all too well:
Tired dictators’ croak the same tired complaints
of shriveled old people overcome
From pulpits and madrassas shrill
and bloody conjurers rise and call for blood.
In the dark alleys, the same legions of
militant trash cry ‘murder!’
and thrill to the flow of Evil
that gives their puny lives meaning.
The Night is gathering as in ’39…
“Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war…”