The Siren’s Song

Like Odysseus, our great commander in chief
(who likes his reports and his facts just in brief)
has ordered himself lashed and tied to the mast,
and in the ears of his councilors, wax plugs made fast

so he can go forth and destroy his named foe
without hearing anti-war Sirens scream “no!”
(at least, though he’ll hear them, he will not be swayed,
for his eyes are trained on fortunes to be made)

And the millions of Sirens, deprived thus of voice
will be faced with a terrible, depressing choice:
to admit defeat, and crawl under their stones,
or watch as the war machine destroys their homes.

For me, though I know that my song goes unheard
by those who hang on our brave leader’s each word,
and often gets noticed as “bleeding heart” stuff
(which can make those brown-shirt boys act pretty rough)

I shall sing it out loudly and hope that out there
are enough others who do not say “laissez faire”
but seek for the truth without question or pause
and only want war for a more noble cause

And as for Odysseus, let him go lame
There strapped to the mast in his imbecile game
I did not elect him my hero in chief
Nor do I think his acts reflect my belief

In a nation’s nobility, part of the whole
where although a great people, we do not control
the fate of the planet with missiles and threat,
but work hard for world peace, and do not forget

that absolute power corrupts absolute
and turns politicians into lying suits
that make long careers out of power and greed,
but should be but servants, who seek what we need.

Odysseus, hero? This Siren thinks not,
and sings to avert him and his evil plot;
And though he ain’t listenin’, perhaps someone will
and sink his foul ship before he does more ill.

I’m not saying kill him, or any such dreck,
nor sabotage his machine, causing a wreck;
Just sing, all you Sirens, as loud as you can
until perhaps we can stun sense in the man.

18 FEB 2003

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