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The Scales – Tue Jan 19 01:34:04 2010

January 19, 2010

the scales · the dreadful life · the master · by
the sea again · the moon arose · again ·
the same in this · in this the same · in and
return · the master wishes to direct
the same · the people · like the dreadful place ·
the very hungry · with the eyes · behold ·
among the black · a little time a time ·
among the dead · the island and amen ·

the time the rain upon the arms · the time
the rain upon the thousand breasts · the time
again · the same · the people on the ground ·
perhaps a thousand to remove · in chests ·
the bones · the other hundred pounds in such
a dress · the time in solitude · beyond
the sun · beyond the sea · the sermon of
the island where the body lies · amen ·

the same · the master and the heat · the piles ·
the smoke · the sickly · none escape · a few
in answer · with a fair proposal · with
the great desire to remove · away
the master and the great contempt · away
the evil and the spirit of deceit ·
away · away the poor in spirit · and
the poor in virtue · and the vain · away ·

H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra


Note on the Text: During the composition of this poem, the devastation wreaked upon Haiti by the recent earthquake was on my mind, and the poem is in many ways a response to it and the voyeuristic, decontextualized coverage of it by American media.  It is horrifying that such an act of nature should be visited upon that county’s people, who have long suffered the blows of injustice at the hands of the United States and other Western powers. If you are concerned for the people Haiti and want to better understand the full context of the disaster, you can learn more about it and relevant historical information at DemocracyNow! and Third World Traveler. May the scales someday soon be tipped in their favor.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Matthew permalink
    January 21, 2010 3:59 pm

    Maybe it’s because I have a friend living/working as a missionary in Haiti, but this really strikes a chord with me, Love the third stanza especially.

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