"Arma, cruor, caedes, incendia," yes, Arbiter,
Same old story, tale of, well, not love, gory
Doings, battle, blood, slaughter, fire, whole
Shebang, "totaque bella ante oculos volitant,"
Eyes bloody red, what they daily see,
Emperor off at villa, chopping cottonwood
On ranch, war, rumors of war, distant, but
Now with body bags, mercenaries or
At least the poor, no choice, more of them
Every day, while the rich, OK, the rich,
Surely, always with us, let sick heal sick,
Poor pack ERs, "deeper in debt," circuses,
Makeovers on every TV tube, "reality,"
Poetry, all arts debased, while everything
Is "art," Britney proclaims her art, shake it,
Shake it, "pecuniae cupiditas," you said it.
Sound familiar, Mr. P, whole damned
Thing? Not much difference twixt
Now, then? Love of money, yes,
Burn cities down entire, people
Too, makes things a little nicer for
The rich, always with us, chew
Our corpses to get what small change
We have, masticate the bloody cud,
No problem, swallow, no remorse,
Lichas as simpering bride, Fellini, yes,
But true enough to you, gay wedding,
Angry crowd outside, don't notice
What the rich, behind them, are up
To, always with us: "Quisquis habet
Nummos," you got the cash, "secura
Navigat aura," the wind is at your back. S
Copyright 2005 R.H.W. Dillard.
R.H.W. Dillard is the author of two novels, a collection of short fiction, two verse translations of classic Greek and Roman drama, and six volumes of poetry, most recently Sallies. He has been awarded the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize and the Hanes Prize for Poetry, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the Virginia Writers Club and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
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