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There they came, wave upon wave,
Titans of the mighty Tribe, goose-stepping
Cadres of Civilization Mongers
flying flags, bearing bright Charters
vivid visions of scopious Human Redemption
peremptory in short command
Organized like generals
with no intelligence overlooked
to press all Rhetoric into instant Service
of the Great Emancipatory Cause
of Liberty, Life, and Lust for Unilateral Happiness


We, the Little People ,mired in Microcosms
watched, waved, jumped and clapped
as they marched in Grand Parade
down from our meager perches
in the craven cul de sacs of jaded
loss of hope, reason and
ordinary norms of Co-respecting
Decency, with our own Philosophy
of Bread, and the sweet Elixir
of Collective Amnesia
as they rocketed on overhead

Ribbons and flags, curled and fluttered,
lay festooning the grandiloquent
boulevards of Wealth and State
as we scampered like mice
After the March, to nibble the Souvenirs
of the Great Epoch just unveiled
by the Orchestra of Imperial Design-

Here Democracy, there Liberty
Property, Rule of Law, all gaudy and glistering-
and how we rushed to collect the swag
run home, and gorge like expectant Children
We celebrated in swoon all night long
this Arrival of the Promised Day
raising cheap, copious, libations to the health
of our Great Captains who smiled rich, ravishing smiles
and bared immaculately polished teeth of steel
shimmering, glaring television screens distending
the raucous audio of their Manifest Assembly
in deafening bytes of syncopating
timbre, tone, and Declamatory Excess

Then the last tanks rolled, clunking away –
the P.A. systems fell sudden silent
and the grim Mondays of somber Sobriety
returned to haunt the ineffable Drudgery
of our new Speedocratic workaday week-
The Great Machine cranked, creaked
its stilted wheels back on rails again
as we sang the Song of the Shirt
quiet now under our unsweetened breath

And then came the clumping, clustering
Pictures blinking like sorties of streaming glow-worms
dotting in digitals our Great Advantage
bright proclaimed over the Perilous Planet
as we set down dinner forks to
digest its meaning for our limping lives
as laser rockets razed the riveting screen
and great plumes of Distal Destruction
filled adult minds with unthinkable dread
as children huddled struck dumb seeking
comfort in their parents’ flinching eyes

Like merrymakers tossed dizzy off whirling roundabouts
we re-inform our distrusting hearts of Logic,
and the Great Game of Reason, played by the
aerial Mandarins of State
seeking shreds, shrapnels, shards of meaning
in the obscure behemoths of hopeless Corruption
of Speech, Image, Word, and new-fangled Archetype-
but infertile assurance born of Impotence breeds not
the sterile contentments of yore: and we stoop warily
to wonder how and why and when we lost
even the merest semblance of control

The music eternal blares and streaking strobes
scan the hypertrophic universe, lit up like holograms
of this barren Realm of Discontent,
born of seething Madness, the Toxic nostrums of Smith, Locke
the Buonopartism of Commerce and the Calvinism
of rampant Greed become now the fodder Popcorn and Soda
of our daily viewing – like incapacitated Voyeurs
nailed to our seats, staring fixedly ahead
at the desolation of our own Disempowering lives

How now to move to Love or Care?
billows of cleaving empathy made alien by the
Hobbesian pall envelope us like a miasma,
seeding descending clouds of disabling distrust-
crucified in dessicating Hate, we dry up
in near and far domains, shedding sanguine lives
of Vitals that fire the fusions of stirred Emotion
stoking the furnace of warmth, affection and passion-

We live but in wan Dress Rehearsal of Death
The Guardians prattle on in their glib Discourse
of Death: enchain resolve, entombing
the native springs of Sovereign Actions
denude, intoxify Earth, Sea, and Sky
dismembering our Collective Memory
of Mutual Convenance in trade for
crass, consumptive stupefactions: now bought
now sold for spoonfuls of lusting, desire
and sprigfuls of All-requiting Bigotry

Slim pontoons of slender Hope still straddle
the yawning Abyss of Despair; as they run their Last Race
upon our Free-gifted Spaces, we gather up the fringes
in rousing Counter- Prophecy: Nothing lives or dies in vain-
the Clockwork Universe of Order and Exactitude
Self-Aware, corrects all ravages in Rectifying Time
and we as Conscious Atoms may yet breathe into that
Incorrigible Cosmic Plan our Ragged Philanthropy
of Indemnifying Love in lucent, lustrating streams of unstinting,
Immaculate, Beatitude

[© R.Kanth 2006]


Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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