Monday, May 26, 2014

Upon The Sea of Anarchy, Canto IV

Canto III

Canto IV

I now know legislation does not make
An action more legitimate. I fooled
Myself, believed that lie. And for the sake
Of my own soul, I seek to make it up
To those I sought to suffer and to quake

Before my own self-righteousness.
I’m humble now. As humble as a pup
Or as the birds you see above. They press
Against the blue – their white and black is all
We see. You see the albatross caress

The sky – it rarely lands. The sea gulls thrive
Here on our floating island. Hear the call
Of black-capped terns? And when we do arrive
Near shore, we see the pelicans. Your sight
Is good: each bird is white and black. You’ll strive

In vain to see a green or red. White blends
Into the clouds, essential white on white
On ozone blue. The albatross, it spends
Its life on air, and there seems elegant –
Perhaps because he floats above, befriends

No other bird, and never lands. And my
Impression’s not my own alone; my sentiment
Is shared, and so a law’s emerged to try
To stay all human hands or weapons aimed
Against that awesome bird. I won’t deny

We punish people for it. We will shame
The one who brings the albatross down, maimed
Or dead. For shame coordinates us – name
A social value, shame coordinates
Them all. And thus we never tame

With ossifying legislation’s maw.
We live our social lives and have debates
When we are faced with any social flaw.
At worst we’ll call on judges to decide –
But social life is ruled by common law.

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