As a writer, I hope that I am adept at observing and communicating truths about life and the world we live in. One of my favourite things to do when writing is to take an observation or emotion I have experienced, and translate it into a whole other setting. For example, many of my World War II poems (such as I Wish you Well, my Lonely Friend) are inspired by my own sense of nostalgia and memories of all the things I’ve loved. I constructed the following poem with something of a mythological medieval theme; and although it is bitter and depressing it speaks to the pervasive greed and selfishness that I see in the world. Although it’s one of my unhappier pieces, I hope that it is accurate in its meaning and that you will appreciate it.
Kings and Vipers
Poison from the mouths of vipers
Is there a more insidious thing?
It mires the ground and dirties
Even the air you’re breathing
And as they smile, their venom seeps
Unseen until it strikes the heart
No antidote til the hour is late
Death will be your counterpart.
Vipers held by chains of flattery
These beasts do nought but follow
The sick designs and whims of kings
Whose own lives are so hollow
That they delight in pilfering
All the gold and light from others’ eyes
Sat safe in gilded rooms they are;
While the kingdom, weakened, dies.
These glorious kings and their vipers
Believe each lie they have spoken
Their greed a venom from their own veins
That renders virtue broken.