All men are freckled with unspoken urge,
One crafts a city and one sings a dirge,
Though Wisdom cries, ‘tis vanity in all,
They falter not, nor hasten, large or small.
The budding leaves amaze the youthful eye,
The sun delights to canopy the sky,
Yet writhing, do they wither soon away,
As sunlight ages to the death of day.
So wisdom chants to them a silent lie,
Born in an instant, so they live and die,
Yet still they toil on for ceaseless years,
To shoulder boulders at their ceaseless fears.
Tell lawyers that they quibble at the law,
Forgetting justice, thieving with the jaw.
Tell priests they speak what once our savior said,
While all their love and passion’s grown stone dead.
Tell politicians that they steal the bread,
For which the hand of heavy labor bled,
They serve the few, neglecting humankind,
That their contrived injustice isn’t blind.
Tell rich men that they stole it from the poor,
That robber barons bite them to the core.
Tell poor men that they haven’t worked enough,
They lack devotion, energy and love.
Tell soldiers that their glory wastes away,
That battle does not fall their family’s way,
‘Tis wicked to defend your home by war,
And “service” wrecks a thousand to the core.
Tell lovers that they want mere copulation,
That odes and sonnets are but mere frustration,
Tell noble love it seeks a baser end,
That selfishness inspires every friend.
Tell wisdom that, in thinking, it is folly,
Tell prudence that it loses all that’s jolly,
Tell justice that it cannot be authentic,
Tell fortitude its actions are pedantic.
Tell faith it has no object of devotion,
Tell hope it looks for chance and random motion,
Tell love it costs far more than it is worth,
Tell virtue that it has no place on Earth.
Yet still they persevere, what noble hearts!
To brave and conquer all despairing darts,
It takes one passion, one, that cannot die,
This longing wields the truth against the lie.
-Tyler William O’Neil
-December 25, 2009