Adorn your sackclothes
Anoint your heads with ashes
Wail at dusk, and be not consoled
Blessed beyond belief
But beggars become!
Weep! And be not consoled
Weep for shame, debased, debauched
Lost to lust, and immune to shame
The brooding hen, that eats its own eggs
The lion that snacks on its own cubs
They live with mortality forgotten
Content to feast on all the morrows
The firewood evidences the tree that was
Even as the flames are succeeded by the ashes
When the banana tree is felled
In its stead would several abound
When our season is done as it must
What shall the victims inherit from us?
Weep for shame and be not consoled
They will inherit the paradise being built today
Colonists and imperialists would be long gone
Replaced by Messers WhoWeDon’tKnow yet
No hypocritical protestations about human rights
All is cash and carry in the market to come
Be inconsolable, whatever the pleas
Just this once, be covered in shame
How will you explain your failure to them
Will you blame it on some other “them”?
When your flame is done, would there be ashes?
Would your plantain shoots survive?
The coward might very well endure his peace
The peace purchased at the cost of his peace
The Brave’s walls might lie in ruins
But even the Careful’s walls shall yet collapse
All of Creation, marching inexorably
Behold tomorrow now, and wail today
First published October 24, 2019.