In this poem, Rebel Voice resident poet, A.D., laments the obsequious nature of modern societies. The verse tells of how the system, born in greed, forms the structures, corrupts the structures and refuses to allow effective challenge to the structures. The poet paints a dystopian portrait of humanity as seen through the lens of someone outside of the influence of the immoral control mechanisms as wielded by the state.
There’s no doubt that human societies have always been unequal and unjust. Although improvements have been made (children are no longer being forced up chimneys for example), there are justifiable criticisms that can be made about the rate of progress. Poetry is one means of highlighting the problem. It’s free to create and now free to share. Art is therefore a formidable weapon that can surely be utilised in the fight against the corrupt percentile that would see us all eventually damned.
Upon A System Of Deceitful Compliance And Abject Reliance
Round and round it goes, the Matrix of pretence
that seeks to smother sister and brother and child.
The large hands grab and grope to silence
dissent and rent all opposition.
The news is bleak. Poverty, despair,
lives without hope of repair that float
as jetsam in our jerry-built
septic tank of society.
Obese children waddle obscenely
as their obese parents gaze in adoration
at their narcissistic creations.
Spindle-children crawl obscenely
as their broken parents weep in frustration;
dreams now food for plump merchants.
Food here. Food there.
Food in bins. Food in landfills.
Costly food in dog bowls, in cat bowls,
in expensive bowls where generous thoughts
of hungry children will not enter.
Cogito ergo sum implies a sickness
for those who would create such a perverse stew
of imbalance and contradiction; a species
lost to itself and oblivious to distribution.
Barbed wire rules and chattel reaps profits
as bellies grow full and bellies grow empty;
the screams of pleasure and screams of pain
echoing across a dire dichotomy.
They claim Jesus loves them.
They claim Jesus makes them rich.
They claim Jesus is waiting for them.
But what Jesus ignores the dead,
withered child in the ditch.
Greasy inequality assists in the flow of cash
that fuels the human ash born
in the wastelands of social structure.
Where impropriety is an aim
to be lauded and applauded and embraced and caressed.
The gory sentiment of consumerist dreams
set to demean and preen and stream the ads
that carry promises of satisfaction.
Humankind is scooping out its own insides
as it staggers on, a cameo role on a slippy stage of aeons,
determined to retch itself to oblivion
as peons look on in confusion,
the grass seeming greener on what is an illusion
built upon the confusion of peons.
But some don’t fit. Some can’t comply.
Some ask questions and break pigeon-holes
and ignore social lines that define our boxed-in times.
Some are square pegs in a life of round holes
as they bash and thump and rub viciously
upon the walls of pretentious order,
unnecessary need, specious standards, controlling greed.
Some are designed in a different way to suffer the truth
where empathy is their great understanding
and great weakness and great pain.
Some may make it. Some may not.
The calloused hand rarely holds the pen of high office;
quill and parchment the preserve of schemers
with jagged dreams of excess and loud voice.
Petty youths with myriad issues ignored,
they plot their paths to power in a revenge fantasy
unable to restrain their need for control
indicative of past weakness and self-loathing.
He sits in judgement; red-faced, black-hearted;
an ugly, toxic pear with a need to be esteemed, deemed important.
At the golf club they laugh at his jokes to be polite
yet he thinks himself a fine fellow and accepted.
But inside, he understands that he’s still the butt
of jokes, a pathetic whiner with a snide quip
as a facile party piece. No one is fooled. Not he.
His victims are conditioned to fear robes and gavel
so grovel to avoid his displeasure.
Yet, ofttimes, a working class stalwart with tired eyes
that have observed too much will happen by,
someone who sees inside the manicured facade
to gaze upon the reptile
created from communal failure.
But reptiles can be sharp and watchful.
They notice those who notice, and they bite.
Gavels, robes, wigs, ego, corruption and hypocrisy
stretch comfortably together on a stank dais
as would a golden calf, an obscene deity
of fat and malice and ruthless ambition.
But rules are rules even when broken.
His friends will receive the token slap, gently delivered,
as those on the outside, outside the gates of the country club
and golf club and old boy’s club
feel the wallop of an officially wielded cosh
swung with glee by the tiny personality who would have it all.
He is diminished with every turn
but too entitled to recognise bold truth.
His bubble has a poisoned skin
that encases the venomous whims
of the reptile within. Its grotesque blue veins
pulsing with every breath stolen from the good.
Pass him by for he is a hollow creature.
We can smile at that at least.
His empty life ferments a legacy of censure.
Karma may be a sweetly vindictive beast.