Dragon's Teeth
(in the Gaelic Bardic verse style)

Dragon's teeth by Cadmus sown
Sprung full grown from battle's plain
Men who answer Havoc's call
Until all but few are slain

Grieved by peace and fed by war
Running sore on life's pale skin
Strife and commerce set the pace
Of the race they hope to win

Many money hope to earn
Others learn to love the game
Rent-a-Mercenaries smile
All the while they stoke the flame

"Gold Rush" is the phrase they like
Then they strike a bargain good
Duty doesn't count for much
When there's such a trough of food

Feeding local fear and spite
Foreign fighters skim the cream
Raking in the profits huge
With deluge a distant scream

Doors revolve and bring around
What we've found the times before
Crony "contracts" -- no-bid deals
Squeaking wheels get grease galore

Poor men fight while rich men count
An amount not advertised
Dogs of War gnaw battle's bones
Congress drones on, not surprised

Soldiers die for song and dance
But freelancing guns do well
Armed by well-connected firms
Easy terms that simply smell

Mercenaries have their fling
Then they bring their bonus back
Riding war's careening bus
Billing us for their attack.

Carpetbagging ghouls arrive
Hot to score a killing fast
"Reconstructing" what they've wrecked
Never checked by laws that last

Soon "security" begins
Many sins their praise to sing
Why the "liberated" screams?
No one dreams of answering

Why the speeding SUV?
Why the beady, covered eyes?
Why the brandished weaponry?
Why the readjusted lies?

Why do not the "rescued" cheer?
Why the fear and loathing deep?
Why shrink from the broken door,
On the floor to cringe and weep?

Just get off the road, you hear!
Best you clear a path, and quick!
Mercenaries coming through!
Later, you can heal your sick

Why the ambush? Why the death?
Why by breath of rage consumed?
Why not patient sufferance
Of the once-proud now entombed?

Why the shock to folks back home?
Fiddling Rome finds war obscene?
Doesn't napping Nero know
Of this blowback long foreseen?

Don't the Visigoths and Huns
Fight the ones on our frontier?
Don't we buy protection's balms
With the alms we pay from here?

Whence the need to hire some goons?
These poltroons serve their own needs
Why send our G.I.s to score
"Vengeance" for these cowboys' deeds?

"Soldiers die for Dogs of War!"
Avatar Fallujah cries
Bitten through by Dragon's teeth
Crushed beneath the Dog she dies

Soldier schooled in war's regime
Not a scheming, moneyed flack
Fights for friend and family
Not for fee or loot or sack.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2004-2014