And so it is.
So it stands.
Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown
Are powerless against the Evil.
Because they just want what everyone just wants
To be held safe to bloom grow wild and free
To be allowed to be themselves unchecked and unhampered
To marry and in the marriage flourish
To mate in the mating meet
No longer alone
But with her
Whatever that is
Which they neither
Can quite imagine
Having spent now
So many years
The Evil promenades cheerfully along,
One hand firmly grasping the nation’s entrails.
Democracy has had its chance.
Now let’s have kings:
Cruel stagnating order spiced with bloody chaos!
Let’s let our hair down!
It’s always the same.
The naïve optimism and glory-hounding
Of young men in new uniforms
With shiny buttons
Off to teach those fools a lesson.
Be home in a fortnight!
And yet is not cynicism and give-up
One prong of Evil’s attack
On peaceable conference
And the rule of gentle justice?
Evil undoes the systems and rites
That make possible
What is Evil’s weapon?
Cynicism with the one hand
Triumphalism with the other
Give-up: There’s no hope for clear, open, honest, conscientious government
Give-over: Bow to our Glory and see yourself shine with our Strength
Whether Evil operate at the street-level
Or from the Governor’s Mansion,
It’s tactics are the same:
Consolidate power in hearts and minds
Living for power, wealth, prestige, self-satisfaction
And so making serving those false idols a prerequisite
For getting and maintaining power.
And on all sides whisper louder and louder,
With more and bolder violences
That there’s no point resisting corruption
That the wise thing to do is to join the Evil,
For the sake of the Good:
For the sake of your family, your friends
For the sake of those few safe places
Oh wretched, oh self-fulfilling prophecy!
Oh twisted, oh self-defeating logic!
Hope: Honest, kind, vulnerable, gentle resolve
Hopelessness: tough guy dreams