The Misfortune Teller ("A Useless Ewe")
A Useless Ewe
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

How did the Nazi Germans get like that?
Why did the Japanese do such fell deeds?
How did America grow dumb and fat?

Why does our media spout fascist screeds?
Like ruptured ducks they waddle, limp and quack
Our chicken hen a timid twitter bleeds

A pigeon on her stool she sings for slack
So she can coo and squawk and glare and cluck
Her stupid vote for war she won’t take back

Instead, she stalls and hides and hopes for luck
Invested in the bars of her own cage
Her signature refrain: buk! buk! buk! buk!

She pecks and scratches, fitful, on the stage
Her part already fading from the page

She piles up heaps of corporation cash
To foster the impression of a lead
Reactionaries throw for her a bash

To help her buy a job without the need
To find out whom the people would prefer
She’d like to have the title and the deed

But not what she would just as soon defer:
A stance on issues ravaging the land
From which ambivalence we can infer

That we need someone not so blind and bland
No leadership from her will manifest
Until we’ve put aside the other hand

Which makes decision easy to ingest
And moot the question of her quisling quest

For who requires an also-ran to run?
Who follows those advancing to the rear?
Who offer no new thing beneath the sun

No lure to them who’ve cast aside her fear
And have no wish to truck with it again
Why wait for years if only then to hear

The call to act like mice and not like men
Advice to trim the sails and not make waves
To baldly go where everyone has been

A road to hell this good intention paves
Before and after; both sides of the street
A path that neither life or treasure saves

Much better left to warm her Senate seat
This useless ewe continuing to bleat

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2006-2010