A Sign of the Times
Ferocious assembly of social combatants,
in hope of a weakness that you might reveal,
will test the unproven defense of your morals.
Perhaps you could ward off these merchants of sorrow,
the pandering, jockeying underling class
of bitter backstabbers in line for promotion.
Beleaguered exchequers, with malice aforethought,
withhold for their own stakes the juiciest deals,
and stain all you purchase with bankrupt investment.
No wonder the outrage, refocused by poseurs,
is shouted at voices dissenting for naught
save justice or freedom or something or other.
Our government sanctions the torture of scapegoats
to cover their many unlawful misdeeds,
a vain hypocritical side bet on triumph.
Iconoclast warnings, unheard or unheeded,
become the next prey of the broadcasting class,
forestalling the vital considered opinion.
You puzzle at liberty, traded for wages,
for mortgage refinance and equity debt,
and measures that failed to protect in the bargain.
About the Poem
This poem arose on a bus ride into work. Just a random assembly of words that flitted through my thoughts. Except I noted their meter consisted of four amphibrach feet. So I began an exercise on the bus ride in which I tried to compose additional lines with this meter. Even after sitting at my desk at work, I was able to string together another dozen lines. I tried at first to arrange them into couplets by their content. But the couplets seemed too short and the meter too predictable. So I tossed out the weakest of the couplets and rewrote the rest into triplets by inserting a middle line of a slightly different meter to break the pattern.
This poem is previously unpublished in print. This poem was finished December 21, 2006.