Saturday, 24 June 2017

Stepping Stones

An Augustan Demolition

The justice warrior seeks his quarry out –
The disadvantaged, those who are without

Perfection’s blessing. The halt, the lame,
All those he deems the losers in life’s game;

The wheelchair-bound, autistic kids, the blind,
The haemophiliac who is confined

By her disease. Acceptable are gays,
And androgynes and trans, those in the maze

Of gender designations. Refugees
Provide an opportunity he’ll seize

For toothsome morsels. Then further grist,
The aboriginals, blacks and inuits.

The Bonze, The Sikh, the Muslim and the Jain,
The Hatha Yogist, or any other strain.

The ‘fairer sex,’ so crushed beneath glass ceilings,
Allow him to display his noblest feelings.

And last, not least, the finest prize he’ll seek,
The indigent - the high-end of the weak.

Selecting from this smörgäsbord of causes,
His limbs are nourished and his strength the more is.

For fodder such as this will feed his thirst
For pretexts for his ire. He fair will burst

To name the villains, lay it at the door
Of governments. He’ll weaponise the poor,

Define himself by spoiling for a fight,
Empowered and bristling, loud assert his right

To measure all against a perfect gauge
And, when perfection’s wanting, fuel his rage.

For whom though does he tread this thorny path,
Declaring powers objects of his wrath?

Is it the pain of those who suffer stirs
His heart, the kindling love, the goad that spurs

His keen concern to make such sacrifice?
Are they the rain that wets his paradise?

Or could it rather be the simple thrill
He gets from hating – able to fulfill

His sense of unrequited vengefulness?
Does he, before the rest, just seek to bless

The suffering with remission of their pain?
Or is his goal excuse to make the gain

Of setting out credentials showing him
A caring angry man with burning nimb,

Established as a saint? For in his heart
His keenest fear is being set apart

From safety by the public crowd – disowned
From righteousness, his guilt yet unatoned.

He wants to hunt the monster with the pack,
Instead of having pitchforks at his back.

Can this mean all his care for others is
Directed just for him? Can we name his

First priority - to be justified,
Suggesting, in crusading, that he lied?

And were the poor a simple means to ends
So selfish, meaning all that this portends;

The cries of the oppressed, the victims’ groans
Are for this sinner merely stepping stones?

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