Tag Archives: fascism

The River: cautionary verse

These questions that you warn me not to ask,
they do not simply fade away unsaid;
and while your tacit threat may chill my bones,
it will not stop me, until I am dead.

What good is bullying, and idle scorn,
without the end result: my mindless fear?
Those weapons that your faithful bring to bear
cannot pretend to stop up every ear.

You would, by force of will, bring me to heel,
and so like Galileo, to recant;
but while I see no art – just the raw deal –
you may attempt, but in the end, just can’t.

For I, unlike you, am not so afraid
of fickle public image, fleeting fame;
the race has not begun that you can win,
though I be hobbled, blinkered, deaf and lame.

I understand the questions – as do you;
and so the answers speak out plain enough,
regardless whether you and I exchange
a single word of merit, or just fluff.

I stand against you, not to prove a point,
but rather, because living so requires;
so long as breath sustains me, I persist,
and will not flee imprisonment or fire.

But is this revolution, my small acts,
or simply sitting, spinning out my days?
Now there’s a question: which is longer lived?
The river or the cliff it wears away?

2 FEB 2017

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Treating the Symptoms, Not the Cause

Something to think about in the context of today’s America and unrest around the world (emphases mine):

Hitler was able to enslave his own people because he seemed to give them something that even the traditional religions could no longer provide; the belief in a meaning to existence beyond the narrowest self-interest.

The real degradation began when people realized that they were in league with the Devil, but felt that even the Devil was preferable to the emptiness of an existence which lacked a larger significance.

The problem today is to give that larger significance and dignity to a life that has been dwarfed by the world of material things. Until that problem is solved, the annihilation of Naziism will be no more than the removal of one symptom of the world’s unrest.

— Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer, 1944

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From The Trial of Nesorna


If far too often fate seems to be fixed
and all for nought, pray you remember this:
of our own choosing are these states of life,
both law and ruler from among us rise.

‘Tis in our hands, that much of being free
oft comes to nil, and so our apathy
determines how our democratic state
enslaves us with its silent, civil chains.

So, those who would be wise kings, please take note:
the clever word defeats the sharpest sword;
for those who rule the soul confine the mind,
and conquer silently the heart and hand.

Democracy holds promise great, if freed,
where liberty and justice count for all;
and though expressive right may tax the taste,
the alternate means none may choose their fate:

To choose the gods that suit one’s path and place,
may in the so-called pious cause alarm,
but free will gives this choice to each alone;
to interfere is to deny a right.

So tenuous is our hold on the truth,
that some may seek to have their will imposed,
and quench the fire in those who disagree,
while wand’ring lost themselves in faithless doubts.

Let not this trembling thought of fate unknown
breed trust in leaders boasting “sacred right”,
or you may silence longing in the heart
for principle, and thus destroy the state.

So stories go, and mine presents a time,
not past, not present, but of both constructs;
A fictioned tale, perhaps, but warning, too,
that our existence faces likewise tests.

For words divine, when jumbled, may distort,
and so confuse the heart and harm the mind;
converting honest fears and hopeful dreams
to damning, pure and simple ignorance.

Maybe a lesson is here to be taught –
that facts can quickly be repressed and scorned,
and that which passes for blessed and devout
may be manipulated and ill-used.

Without a warning, liberties we love
that thrive on the most tenuous of threads
may be no longer granted us from birth,
but lost to mem’ry in chasms of time.

A time when reason, logic and defense,
along with independence and free will,
may lose their place in definition books,
and be unknown to us who live in chains.

from The Trial of Nesorna, Act I, Prologue: Chorus Monologue

1990, 2004

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The Wrong Answer

How many, when they think

of right-wing strong-arm tactics
of national emergencies requiring increased security
of leaders not elected by the vote
of opposition candidates denounced as non-patriotic
of speeches that appeal to the lowest common denominator
of the discouragement of public criticisms of policy
of rounding up minority nationals for arrest
of increased eavesdropping, wiretapping, listening in
of failing domestic economy
of the crippling of an international ruling body
of finding an enemy outside to divert our attention
of a leader who believes themselves directed by God
of the Reichstag Fire

think of Hitler?

Wrong answer.

I’ll bet the French and Germans know.
I wonder why they are so hesitant to offer their support.

23 FEB 2003

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