Monday, November 23, 2009

Peddlers of Deception
by Jack Reeves

I despise the peddlers of deception
Who could say “to die is gain”
And cloak tragedy with delusion.

They call death “Friend”--
“A festival on the road to freedom”--
Confounding truth with lies.

Understanding neither life nor death,
These squalid panderers compromise with
The Enemy
And seat death at life’s right hand.

At death let no one console me
With pious absurdities
About someone dying in my stead,
Or disregard my dread with the empty myth:
“The best of all, God is with us.”

Have I the strength,
With clutched fist
I will curse that one,
And his friend, my enemy,
Who since inception has
Stalked my life!

My life’s deep pain
Is that each moment
Is born poisoned.
Each day I live
In my shroud;
At night, my bed a coffin.

I laugh at my own madness and
Hope that by embracing death
I shall bar its defeat in life.
“Plaudite, amici, comoedia finita est!”*

* Beethoven's last words
   ("Applaud, friends, the joke is over!")

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