As we stand on the edge of catastrophe,
A despairing poet, I can no longer
Follow my Zen like some hippie troubadour,
Riding my Harley across the dusty roads
With my battered old Gibson Les Paul guitar
Slung careless across my faded denim coat,
Seeking for enlightenment in the oily dregs
Of yet another warm dirty Martini
In a sordid bar on the edge of nowhere.
Nor yet follow the rollicking example
Of my illustrious forbear Ben Jonson,
Who this day four hundred and twenty years since
Languished in a draughty cell in Newgate Gaol
Indicted for killing a fellow actor,
Reprieved only because of his wordy skills
Thus escaping the gallows to pillory
The social hypocrisy of his era
In satirical plays of biting candour.
For now it will no longer be sufficient
To emulate the industry of the bee,
Safe in the comfortable warmth of the hive.
For mere words have lost their power to alter,
And the passage of time has sugar coated
The dire warnings of the prophets of the past.
This people no longer believe in judgement,
And their gods are avarice, greed and power,
New virtues of exploitation of the weak.
Where once a pamphlet could light a fire of truth
And spread the seed of revolutionary fervour,
All that contradicts or exposes the lies
Of those men who inflict their authority
On people they view as no better than slaves,
Whose lives and bodies are subject to their lusts,
Is brutally dismissed out of hand as false.
For they clutch the handles of earthly power
In their soiled hands, emboldened by their hubris.
By whatever principles of truth we hold,
History demands that we now take courage,
Unleash the hounds of everlasting justice,
And forge a mighty flaming sword from the pen.
Become like an Avenging Angel
And once more cast down Lucifer from his throne.
For the proud will be scattered, and the mighty
Humbled before the judgement seat of fairness
And the powerless find their place in the sun.