The Misfortune Teller ("Boobie Animist Farm")

Boobie Animist Farm
(from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave)

That animists live on a farm
Should come as no surprise
For empty fields and seas share more
Than some might realize
A farm is like an island, see,
Despite the different size

And farms, like islands, manifest
The markings of a boat
Adrift upon a sea of grain
A castle with its moat
Surrounded and endangered by
What keeps them all afloat

So farmers, knights, and islanders
Have more to lose than gain
If crops don't grow or winds don't blow
Or if it doesn't rain
For them life's one big gamble that
Can only cause them pain

For if they win they only live
To lose another time
Each time they lose they fast approach
Their last and only dime
So someone has to rig the game
Or else they turn to crime

Thus animists and islanders
And farmers feel the same
About their need for luck to keep
Them staked and in the game
Without which subsidy they all
Would wind up quickly lame

The simple Boobie mind conflates
The thoughts that seem most clear
If luck provides the answer then
No questions need appear
And so the Boobies wait for signs
Of what they next should fear

The sorcerer takes all this in
And makes some scribbled notes
He quickly figures out the scam
And then starts mouthing quotes
Which mesmerize the Boobies so
They give him all their votes

Then other magic men arrive
To carve out their own niche
Espousing animistic creeds
Which help to make them rich
(It seems that sorcerers all share
The Mammonistic itch)

They share the feature that their claims
No one can falsify
Thus any bogus claim can pass
The unreflective eye
Since none can disprove nothing then
The pigs that ain't can fly

They form their words in such a way
That none make any sense
Which keeps the Boobie mind submerged
In stupefied suspense
To "questions" ever unresolved
Opaque as they are dense

The animists believe that spooks
And spirits rule the nest
But some would rank their flock's Big Bird
As absolutely best
All animists are equal just
Some more so than the rest

The animists down on their knees
With foreheads pressed to ground
And eyes shut fast and ears plugged up
Against both sight and sound
Hear only echoes in their heads
Quite frankly out-of-round

And we should view with grave alarm
The ones who kneel and pray
Professing blind obedience
To any who will say:
"Shut up and do what you are told,
Or else your hide I'll flay!"

The self-programming slave appears
Innocuous at first
Its sadomasochistic scourge
Must hurt itself the worst
Yet freed from its own whipping post
It's bonds of hatred burst

It then goes looking for some one
To order it about
And give it evil things to do:
To scream and curse and shout
And make a darkness of the dawn
Till all the lights go out

The blood and tears of centuries
Have won for us our rights
Yet some can't wait to give them up
To princes, priests, and knights
Who'd love to grab them all right back
In small and tasty bites

Emotion, Madison observed,
Intelligence deflects
Dependence on the mindless mob
The rule of reason wrecks
Dependence on the people, yes,
But not without some checks

Two hundred years ago some wise
And gifted ancestors
Bequeathed to their posterity
A different set of oars
To row the ship of freedom clear
Of animistic shores

Their first and foremost thought involved
The need to separate
The animistic ignorance
From what it always ate:
And thus they kept apart the Church
From matters of the State

Of course, not twenty minutes time
Elapsed before the mob
Began to gnaw upon the bones
Of the unfinished job
And cry for princes, priests, and knights
To come once more and rob

They did, they have, they always will
If you give them an inch
They'll say whatever words will do
To serve them in a pinch
But soon enough they'll have you back
And fighting in the clinch

They love to use their word-magic
To rename theft as "gift"
They substitute "police action"
For "war" and get a lift
So now we find ourselves ensnared
In war's unending drift

The animists have done it all
With their barbaric chant
Of "under" this and "under" that,
"Thou shall not" and "you can't"
Commanded day and night they bray
In one commanding rant

The thought of freedom terrifies
The animistic fool
Yet having someone "over" him
Produces quite a drool
He longs for nothing more than to
Become somebody’s tool

The sadist and the masochist
Have joined again to show
How animist and charlatan
In symbiosis grow:
The masochist pleads, "hurt me" and
The sadist answers, "no"

The Constitution's parchment seems
Like just a worthless rag
When "no law" means "go right ahead"
To those who wave the flag
Abusing with it those who find
The word "under" a gag

The animists discover spooks
In every hiding place
They bow and scrape and quail before
The thought of empty space
Which leads them passively to take
Their whipping with good grace

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006