A Pound of Flesh: Poetry

This system is incompatible
with the human spirit:

It offers a choice
between conviction,
condition and concession,
saying there are no strangers here

It forces us to become recluses,
hiding with our dreams
or plagued with mental prisons
we can never seem to escape

Or it tells us to give up
the chance to ply our trade
again under fairer weather
and more welcoming suns

There is now the urge to lament,
rend the clothing, tear out
the bleeding heart that brings
such misery to mind

There is a compulsion
to go numb and take
these stalwart blows
with indifference and a snarl

It is madness living in a
world that rewards vice
and cruelty, casting financial
pearls before swine

Much worse these strikes
against character
and livelihood when those
doling them possess neither

And how crowds flock with
Black Hole Sun grins
to the latest media demigod,
one scandal away from hell

So let us tend our
gardens like Candide,
remembering our misery
as it diminishes in the past

Let us stand here
on our own volition,
not wallowing in abject grief
for things long gone

And let these wardens take
their pound of flesh
But, damn them, they will
not take our souls.

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