Monday, September 12, 2005

Given in Trade

All the wicked kings of old,


I would trade them well and
gladly, pay good cash and
hard won to have them
return in place of these new
fools devoid of greatness and
shaming the oath of conquerors
to a dark and dismal day.

All the madmen and wife-stealing
brigands of an elder age,


I would bring them back
like old wine renewed and
toast them high upon the
golden mantelpiece, none
so vile as these cheap and
tawdry money men in their
red ties and starched shirts,
kneeling of a Sunday and
giving dishonest wind to

All the warlords sweeping as
dark and shrieking winds down
from whatever hinterland that
gave them muster, all their
shining scimitars and burning
flame, all those fiery horses
with their nostrils flared and
blood at the corners of their eyes,


I would welcome them again
like friends long missed in
grateful lieu of the creeping
dimness at the corners of this
crumbling empire, now hated
and drawn through with a
thousand divisors, victim to
anxieties floating free like
flies too fast to slap, helpless
in its own strength, a headless
man rushing blindly through
the darkened gauntlet, beset
on all sides with complex problems
when only the simple solutions
lie in close grasp.


For these things I would trade
without complaint, and leave
the barter all the better for them,

But these things are just the idle
wishes of a fool, these fantasies
no stronger than the cobwebs
at the high corners of an abandoned
attic where fine things molder.


drthunder said...

"But these things are just the idle
wishes of a fool,"
Maybe so, but they are wishes shared by many these days. Your beautifully stated observations clearly delineate many of my feelings, and for that, I'm grateful. Thanks.

Bill said...

Firehawk –

"an abandoned attic where fine things molder"...

I wonder, if in times past, the honor we perceive in the written accounts, was there, or made in the words?

It's interesting to me, that we (in the collective sense) often look back and choose our heroes... I wonder though, were those people as highly revered, then?

As always your words convey your (our, again collective) sense that we should, no deserve, to be better served than we are. Each new hopeful, dissolving, in time, to yet, just another disappointing tenure.

Powerful words for strange days my friend.

Firehawk said...


Thanks a lot. You keep saying nice things, you might make it onto my Christmas list. (grins)


I think that it's best to worship your idols from afar. Knowing too much about people, places, or events that mean a lot to you can ruin that idealized notion you may have had. I don't know if people were ever really "better", but it seems like the lines between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" was once a little easier to see. Now, all the real jerks have press kits, lawyers, and spin doctors to cloud the issue for them.

As John Lennon once said, "Strange days, indeed..."

Thanks for coming over, guys. I know that some of my readers are off having vacations, so it means a lot to have a few people still drop by.

Mushster said...

I'm doing a quick fly-by to say hi. Do I get to be on your Christmas list too? Do I, do I, do I? ;)

Bill said...

"but it seems like the lines between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" was once a little easier to see"

I have to agree with you there... It feels that way to me too.

I do wonder though, if it's simply perception, or is that how it was? That one simple answer would be enough for me to step into a 'time machine'.

Stranger Ken said...

I'm not sure that hypocrisy and low cunning were any less real in Genghis Khan, Hawkeye, Napoleon or anyone else from the past, than in modern leaders about whom we know more and who are more like us. I don't think it pays to romanticize, idealize, respect or trust anyone who uses human beings as a means to their own ends rather than regarding them as ends in themselves.

Firehawk said...


I don't think poetry can always stand up to the harsh light of logic. I know that this was written from a place of great anger and disappointment, not deep thought.

I generally concur with your idea that people should be ends in themselves, and that they should be respected as such, but there are times when I become so sick of them that I can't hold to that. I fall into black moods and don't give a damn about anyone. I feel that I'd prefer to have them reap their reward for poor decisions and stubborn faith all at once, rather than with the subtle erosion of the modern day, when the sins of one generation are not directly felt until the next.

There, now. All traces of optimism have been erased for the moment. To hell we are all damned, and hell is ourselves, residing in our own skin.

Firehawk said...


Of course! Gifts for everyone!

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