Tag Archives: selfishness

The Cruelty of Saint Valentine

St. Valentine, they say, was lost in love;
and on his heart’s desire was so affixed
that nothing here on earth or found above
could heal him from sly Cupid’s arrow prick.

St. Valentine, it seems, so loved himself
that selfishly he jumped in a canal
to punish she who put him on a shelf
and would forever be blamed for it all.

St. Valentine, such love is hardly true;
what good is love if it requires reward
or would avoid the perils that come due:
the fires of Hell, friends’ ridicule, the sword?

St. Valentine, I will not mourn your death,
nor worship your vain sacrificial leap;
I’d rather, with my fleeting, final breath
invest in something not so pale and cheap.

St. Valentine, my love inspires my life.
Unlike you, who would worship from the grave,
I sought a partner first, and then a wife,
to stand with and in unity be brave.

St. Valentine, retreat back to your tomb!
Your presence here is sickening to see,
inspiring only sad, insipid souls
who would by sheer luck find love’s secret key.

St. Valentine, would that you never lived
and by so doing, spoiled love for all time.
Your crime is one I just cannot forgive.
Your love is cruel, not merely more sublime.

14 Feb 2014

Share This:

Simple Truths: a ruba’i

The truth is, all that I have found
in these short years above the ground
is that we see what we desire,
what turns our heads around;

and all else doesn’t matter much.
A hint of rose, a lover’s touch;
the little things alone remain.
We lean upon them, like a crutch,

imagining the world is only these;
a selfish notion, if you please,
that over time destroys our minds
and brings us to our knees.

18 APR 2014

Share This:

Absolvo-Meal: an advertising jingle

Your hair is gray and thinning, Jack!
Your prime is gone and won’t come back.
The cure for everything you lack?
Absolvo-Meal, the perfect snack!

Young whippersnappers run the show,
and no one cares how much you know.
When your past actions plague you so,
Absolvo-Meal’s the way to go!

Who needs responsibility?
Who wants the blame? Not you or me!
Besides, no work can make you free;
Absolvo-Meal’s the trick, you see.

It matters not how cruel or wrong
you’ve been so far, to get along,
to rise above the mindless throng;
Absolvo-Meal! The winner’s song!

So, try it now! It’s not too late!
Remove the trouble from your plate!
Don’t weakly give in to your fate;
Absolvo-Meal, the dish that sates.

Your ethics, politics and such:
who needs them? You and I? Not much!
Compassion, empathy? A crutch!
Absolvo-Meal, great in a clutch!

Forget your faults! Don’t make amends,
just have a quick glass now and then.
A clean slate every time, no end:
Absolvo-Meal, your new best friend!

So, is your soul in trouble, Jack?
Do sin and sorrow hold you back?
Just take a slug and then, relax!
Absolvo-Meal, the perfect snack!

10 APR 2014

Share This:

A Haiku

The tap left running,
wasting water and money;
all call it evil.

they watch it dripping,
blame who turned it, and cry
“How wrong! How shameful!”

No one moves to change
the sad scene; their sole action
is indignation.

Yet when someone tries
to turn the spigot’s flow off,
they are reviled, too.

Is it the action,
or our own nothing done
that is upsetting?

So you can describe
how the world has become mad,
and with pride, complain.

Just being righteous
without fixing what is wrong
compounds the problem.

What glory is there
in being right about things
that make life ugly?

There is no changing
without risking ridicule.
You must at least try.

05 AUG 2004

Share This:

Martyr Without a Cause

Waken, would-be martyrs seeking causes
to in an instant devote life and limb, and cling
half-drowned along the upturned raft of culture
that leaking, seeks the bottom of the quay.

The words that might be spoken now are silenced;
upon the stump the bloody axe rests, still
slick from the cloying jugular wine that pools
beneath the severed head there in the bowl.

A brotherhood of fools will find its equal
among the rushes, bent with each new wind
and whispering inanities and slogans
that pampleteers shed like oak leaves each fall.

What would you say aloud to fire this army
of malcontents who look to their own skins?
Beyond the content of their bellies, do they seem to care
for rhetoric that asks after their minds?

And those self-sacrificers dream redemption songs
that for a moment, find a tuneful ear
and are transformed beyond a pale chimera
that floats upon the stale, dry air, then fades.

Is there a cause worth half this senseless slaughter?
Behind the scenes, the tribal elders watch
and pick out young recruits that seem more likely
to run in panic; these make the best bullies.

What do the gods require from each new generation?
Are not the first-fruits destined for their hands?
To pose elsewise is suicide, beyond the help of prayer;
besides, a death unscheduled can’t be used.

The rebel tools that stock the workshops of the status quo
serve best if left to rust, their edges dulled.
What good is there in martyrdom to others’ causes
unless you’ve nothing worthwhile back at home?

Curse you to your own self-made hells, you preachers
who safe behind your pulpits can commit
your congregation, knowing they are malleable,
their self-will sapped to serve some future realm.

And those who in their natures, find the substance
of service, but are lacking steady work —
be sure the cause you choose is your own making
and not the sad agenda of the damned.

24 MAY 2004

Share This: