A poet passed through, quaffed a few and recited for us. The regulars gathered around.
Words in Passing
We were not ready.
We were Exhausted.
Distracted. Expectant. Hopeful.
War had taken its toll.
Many men were lost,
But the Family survived.
The battered Nation survived.
The children played.
A Malevolent Smile.
She was Ready.
The Blue Pencil, poised.
Flooding in, the swamp re-defined the land,
The familiar, the family, the Form.
The first was Fair, our childhood’s most cherished friend:
Resolver of squabbles, distributor, sharer,
Fair cared for all.
A string of rubies around her doomed, pale and lovely neck.
It was so sad.
They said it was consumption.
All used up, in tatters, shrouded,
she just faded away.
Next to go was that sturdy, quarrelsome Equality,
which surprised us all.
He was so in demand, they said,
especially some, so they said.
Aye, and relied upon.
For so many years a staunch friend and fighter.
His burial dressage, a peasant's cheesecloth, yoked neck.
his scarred skin a testament.
Burned Beyond Recognition.
Truth tried hard.
Was Tried. Hard.
as she was garrotted.
Soon after that, Justice
suicided off a nearby cliff.
Lover's Leap, a place then
from which many a couple had gazed out,
seeking the broader vista;
Now has Disabled Access.
Was it in despair?
Perhaps sympathy with the others.
No-one saw her silent fall.
Was she pushed?
Who could gain?
Her handmaids will argue for a time and time,
billing Innocence by the hour,
Kept in chains for gain.
The old, wise man, Honour, lost his marbles, they said.
He languished as the village idiot for a while,
The butt of jokes and calumnies.
His body was found in a ditch one day.
They left it there.
The loss of these good companions all
has been followed now
by Liberty and Freedom,
two noble and leathery old soldiers.
They put on their dress uniforms, immaculate,
faced each other squarely and
blew each other’s brains out.
Such fine shots, both.
They left a note. Signed as written together.
They could no longer support the malignancy
of the vile regime, the note said.
They felt duty-bound to remove themselves
from further abuse,
the note said.
They took Duty with them.
An Altar was discovered in the woods
On which the charred bones of hermaphrodite Trust
Sacrificed to Narcissus, he,
elevated to the Pantheon.
Tears flowed down Olympus’ stony sides.
Even God cries.
After, there was Laughter, Music, Whine.
So much fun.
The departed were only words
Dead, white males.
What, three were maids?
"So? Whatever", said the wretches.
No one noticed Love fall to her knees.
Her calls for help were drowned by song.
Trampled to death under dancing feet.
The last to succumb.
The surging mob, with popular will,
Tied Democracy’s hands, and,
fattened and degraded on suet foie gras
trotted it to the abattoir.
The Impostor was on the scene quickly.
By Order. She said.
The Princess of Lies rides over barren lands.
Long hair, her spider-silk chain-mail down her back,
Across her breast, over her steed’s flank.
Hooves on skulls.
The children gabble and cry.