For Whom No Bell Tolls
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

A careless nation left its power loose
And unsecured against the greedy grasp
Of those inclined to profit from abuse;

Which only left the robbed and shocked to gasp
That snakes who’d smiled to hide their dripping fangs
Would quickly bite just like the poison asp

By slender threads the country’s fate now hangs
With venal, vengeful vipers in control
Of means to heed their power-hunger’s pangs

The foxes walk security patrol
Inside the henhouse fence they stroll along
And smirk away their watch with joking droll

The spoils to victors, they believe, belong
The weak exist by right to feed the wrong

As Genghis Khan the very earth made howl,
The three-piece-suit barbarians now steal
In clothes of shameless wool the wild wolves prowl

To gorge themselves at each and every meal
And charge admission to the witless crowd.
Oblivious of what their crimes reveal,

Not merely brazen but supremely proud
To glory in the profit of their sins,
They never whisper, only bellow loud,

Smug satisfaction dripping from their grins
Instead of truth they just repeat their lies
Much like a wobbly top that barely spins

They play at power like the lordly flies
Parading ‘round a sick man’s staring eyes

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