The Triumph of Strife
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

How should we finish this unending tale?
Strife does appear triumphant, after all;
And Peace seems doomed to falter, fade and fail;

As some with crass, unmitigated gall
Propose that we should fight not less but more
And do a bad thing “better” as they bawl,

Perspiring fear through each dilated pore
The pooch they screwed has proved a bitch with teeth
That doesn’t wish to play the role of whore;

That whelped a lethal litter not beneath
Becoming packs of dingoes on the prowl,
Whose knife-like claws have seldom known the sheath

Now, as the beasts attack, our “leaders” scowl
Insisting – as they scream – that they don’t howl

The “empire” didn’t last so long, at that;
In just a few short years it hollowed out,
Becoming lazy, greedy, proud and fat

All wisdom of the past it chose to flout;
Events got in the driver’s seat to steer
And so an over-reach became a rout

The “call to arms,” while faint and never near,
Invited us to join a shopping spree
On easy credit offered with a leer;

Repayment schedules sounding nearly free;
Proposed to dupe and entertain the bored
Who thought the yet-unborn would surely see

To any costs, which they could well afford,
Extorted now from future oxen gored

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