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Poetry Magnum Opus

TTP (Telling Truth to Power)


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The Red Queen

can be seen

as an archetype:


Off with his head!


(It was said that as a young man

Henry was sweet-natured;

a claim with a hollow ring

for Richard Empson or Edmund Dudley,

ministers to his father, whom he executed

as soon as he came to the throne.)


Later heads were to be chopped galore:

two wives, among others, and Thomas More.


Messengers bearing news of defeat

were often slaughtered at a ruler’s feet


(as was the unfortunate scribe

who read Cicero’s reply to Marc Antony

before the open Roman Senate,

as were other bearers of unwelcome news

who were quickly deemed responsible.)


There is a long historical tradition

of sending truth-tellers to perdition.


Science in its way is the new criterion

supplanting an old religious imperium

here and there, not all over the world,

for many regions have banners unfurl’d

to protect dogged old dogmas.


Where? Islam and parts of the USA,

where millions fear to look

beyond some ancient Book.


Pagan Greeks would have been astonished

had they been so admonished

as the elderly Signor Galileo.


Independence of mind we find

is an affront to the state

with its history of hysteria.


Now in our more civilized times

we deal with equally impudent crimes

in rather much the same way


(We maintain our judicial

and our extra-judicial executions,

even lopping off heads in Saudi Arabia,

a whiff of the Good Ol’ Days,

send dissidents to mental asylums,

hang teenagers in Iran,

try to get journalists fired,

use PR people to start smear campaigns,

trumpet out filth and innuendo,

send villagers to Guantanamo,

drive honest people to suicide,

bring the whistle-blowers to trial.)


Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks?

What the hell has he said that wasn’t true?

But it wasn’t for this lowly man to do.


And he is gay! O God, how well that will play …


Wake up, I’m thinking …


Whatever we hide or throw under the covers

comes back to haunt us, just as young lovers

open their hearts to keep love from sinking.


Open our hearts? Yes, I think so in the end.

It is the only way we can hope to defend

the freedom we hope to live in.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Frank E Gibbard

Very true on many fronts polemic with a big historic scope. Good one Bren

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Great thoughts all the way through, from the title to the last period.


Messengers bearing news of defeat

were often slaughtered at a ruler’s feet


There is a long historical tradition

of sending truth-tellers to perdition.


NBT in this TTP. (NBT = nothing but truth)

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astonishing! I am impressed, once again by your talent, and breadth of wisdom. I was contemplating 'Truth to Power' and considering writing a poem, dropped in to PMO, and saw this very delightful piece. Thank you! As always, call e a fan...


Keep it up,


Many Thanks,


Juris AKA Dr. Con

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.



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Larsen M. Callirhoe

some haunting lines here that ring some liberty of truth to it in a brendan sorta way. always enjoy your weaving of words.



Larsen M. Callirhoe

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