In the Style Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Declaration of Independence


(For an introduction to the series “In the Style Of…” please see our search bar for the immediately prior post entitled, “To All Collegiate Poetry Snobs,” ending with the lines:

“Think my claims are empty boasts?
Just read these next dozen posts“)


*****

In any life the unaccustomed hour
May come at last
The caref’lly tended flow’r
Exposed unto the frigid blast
Of penury, there seek to grow
Whilst chill, uncaring breezes blow
About its head the winds of want
And send anxieties to haunt
Even the peacefullest domain!
Seeking no gain
No war, no wealth, nor other human spirits’ strife
A hearth, a kettle and a wife
Some honest labor for good health
And let the world without bespeak
Of climbing mountains to their peak!

But such as these are waiting prey
To Lords of Darkness, who will wait
Skulking round the garden gate
For some untimely slip of fate
They, leaping to the door, berate
The ones within, alas, too late!

“And did you help your fellow man,”
The Lords of Darkness will demand
“In any tiny way at all
Or took you narrow Virtue’s stand
Stood by, and watched them fall?

“Perhaps you thought, retiring home
That orphans nevermore would roam
Frostbitten, starving, half undressed
Forget ~ dissolve them ~ that was best

“Or did you pause at dinner board
When hands were heard upon the latch
And voices begging of your hoard
Or did you not their accents catch?

“Perhaps you thought them far away
Not in your heart, not at your board
Perhaps you struggled day by day
And could not raise a penny more
Than what it took to feed your brood
Then did you lift your voice to say
‘There is much land, there should be food’?”

Advancing boldly to the rear
The Lords will cause to disappear
Each little object you held dear
Which might have given you good cheer
And when you in your protest say
That you have done no brother wrong
They’ll pause and ask that you should name
The men, not brothers, in your song
For whom you have not held the lamp
For whom you did not raise your cry
Who, struggling through the cold and damp
Have chilled and sickened, there to die

Was there such justice flowing round
You felt yourself on moral ground
To keep your willful words away
When you were luckier than they?
Or when you weren’t ~ meek, unctuous the retreat
And loud the echo of your psychic feet!

But so, you thought, I’ll keep myself for age
And tell it to the youngsters as a sage
And speak not prematurely, lesting I
Should speak a bit too loudly, so to die
Before my loved ones could do without
My aged wrinkles, rheumatiz and gout!

Well, Lords, I see thee clearly all around
Bent on pulling Beauty to the ground
So to cushion yet another seat
To rest upon thy soft, perfumed feet
And gaze about, complacently to sneer
That “Commoners will not be welcome near
Our silken rugs to sully with their earth
And entertain us with their utter dirth
Of any slight refinement, no my dear
They’re better off out there and us in here

And little matter their condition for
If they for lack of pleasures should make love
And bring their numbers up too many more
Fear not, my precious, sheltered little dove
Your dad will simply help to make a war
Their psycho-mundane resources to drain
And bring their numbers safe back down again”

No one loves life any more than I
Given choice, I would not wish to die
But choosing life beneath the tyrant’s yoke
Is choosing not sweet life, but some sad joke
I will not live except to see the sun
And know that Mother Earth and I are one
Nor can I see my children smothered slow
Upon a planet where no greenery can grow
So if I unexpected cease to be, take heed
Know that I fell against the King of Greed! 

— Ana Daksina 


*****
Among us, poets are not paid. The poet/editor of this website, being physically disabled, lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. Become a patron of the fine arts at: https://www.gofundme.com/are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

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