Poetry















Sestina on the Laws of Nature



It is not usual for gentleness
To be associated with the trade
Of Empire, still less for simplicity;
A Lion had these virtues for its humour.
It was a massive Lion robed in honour
And furred and maned in power and in money.

This animal, in its simplicity,
Was like the Son of God; from sense of honour,
Was slow to act except in good clean humour.
The other beasts could not buy him with money,
And due to idleness, he did not trade.
He was the king, and strong in gentleness.

Now watch the plains, see creatures without humour:
A pack of slim hyenas after money
Play with the king, exploit his gentleness,
And use his name to get involved in trade,
And carnage against all simplicity -
Against all peace, or actions that have honour.

They ruled in his place, always after money,
So there was no place left for gentleness.
The land and king were weak from this bad trade.
Across the sea, in this eclipse of honour,
A vulture king hatched out, with dreadful humour,
And was crowned king in all simplicity.

So, feasting on the dead the only honour
From East to West; the bottom-feeding humour
Of fake bald eagle and hyena money,
Made living hard in life’s simplicity:
Those dogs and birds fed full on gentleness,
And called that 'freedom' which was simply trade.

The old and dying Lion was betrayed,
And slunk off eastward in simplicity.
But in the sun grew strong again in honour.
Recalling bitterly old gentleness,
He aimed to bring an end to love of money.
And then slouched home again, full of black humour
.

He wrecked the world of money which lacks honour,
And threw aside simplicity and humour,
To tear apart all trade and gentleness.



Design Jason Powell, 2022.

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