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Poetry Magnum Opus

The City State of London 2014


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Mired in anachronism: fortress of the elite.

Bolt-hole of banker, oligarch and sheikh.

Whose population brims with expertise,

the lucky honest-- and successful thieves.

Where politicians orchestrate a dance

ignoring ragged-arsed philanthropy.

Support the ermine, pomp and circumstance

of this, a bartered old democracy.

A blind eye to external poverty,

for he serves best who also serves himself.

With nought to equal the success you'll see,

save trappings of hereditary wealth.

So raise the drawbridge-- like Poe's Prospero

and sacrifice all for your status quo.

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I enjoyed this piece, Benjamin, not just because of the content but how the content was delivered in it. I like how you played with the sounds and the concepts. Actually, the concept of the "fortress of the elite" reminds me of Mao's doctrine to destroy the capitalist system from the country side and collapse the system until what remains is the "fortress of the elite", devoid of the support of the masses :-) But, who would have thought the leaders of China will have a change of heart. I am glad to have found time reading pieces again.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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David W. Parsley

Nice work again, Geoff, with rhymes doing their versic labors with apparent ease. I like the allusions to scripture, wisdom literature, and "real" literature, bringing the weight of age-old understanding to stand in witness to our renewed follies and indifference. One may be led to wonder if indeed this latest party of the prince , with its illusion of insular prosperity and privilege, must not inevitably rediscover the implied invitation to the monster without.


Let the poet speak!


Well Done,

- Dave

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Thank you Joel and Dave, your comments are much appreciated.

Re: the mischievous end couplet. The Red Death may not be a disease-- but a weakness like original sin, common to all humanity inherently.... Although Poe was known to have disliked didacticism in literature, it remains difficult to take his short story at face value without looking for any moral conclusion. 'Inexplicable horror' is a true horror in itself.


I recall with some amusement Robert Southey's poem about Bishop Hatto and the rats circa 950ad .

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Poignant and to too accurate. Enjoyed immensely- Did post a longer response via cell phone in the woods, but alas rather than duplicating it vanished;-)



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  • 4 weeks later...

Now the Scottish referendum is behind us it seems political opportunists at Westminster are set to endorse the sentiment expressed. G.

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The Scots have been leery since the novels of R L Stevenson and long before - Highlands and Lowlands. They were offered freedom on a plate and still turned it down. Seen from Ireland, where we have always had to fight for everything, this is a form of national disgrace. Nevertheless, the Scots have always been different from us and must be allowed to choose for themselves.

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

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