The Ordering of Base Rules
(a rather basic sonnet format: ababababcdcdcd)

Projecting rules upon the world, who knew
the “burden” such an awesome task would bring
to bear upon the ones who turn the screw
and pound the peasants, winter, fall, and spring
while they enjoy year-round the summer hue
of golden days. So let the music ring!
Let all who’ve known “success” receive their due
and those who’ve failed let them endure the sting
of poverty and labor hard and long
while profits up the pyramid advance
to further gild the ones already strong
who seldom for a moment look askance
at those below who only know the wrong
reserved for those with but a chicken’s chance.

The “Rules Based Order,” so we’ve heard it said
means what we say it does, no more no less,
whenever and wherever we have led
our vassals with us to create a mess
of limbs blown off and heaps of newly dead.
Nor any of our crimes will we confess,
us dogs of war by our own barking bred;
the “body count” our measure of success;
the free-fire zone – kill anything that moves –
retrieved from Vietnam, another place
where what we did the things we said disproves.
Mere novelty adds not but must deface,
as Bacon said. Thus our bad breath removes
the verbal mask meant to disguise disgrace.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2021