To Ezra Pound

Were you to have seen the ovens
your hard tongue would have burned to ash,
you devil, lecturing covens
as the fulgurous blitzkriegs flash.
Across your adopted homeland
you exulted while others warred,
having no honor, a Roman
who would not fall upon his sword,
even after his unjust wrath
had been thwarted by apt measure
like Commodus slain in his bath,
a tyrant cleaved to his pleasure.
What good songs you sang are lost,
deafened by your erudite cries
of hatred, bigotry—mind lost
in rooms padded with your own lies.
The lunatics sang behind you,
electroshock troopers plugged in,
the asylum leader in view,
his thunderclap voice a loud din
that quickened Europe’s stagnant blood
and swept you across the ocean,
your own heart racing forth, aflood
with a Modernist’s crass notion
about “betterment”, “perfection”,
Aryan teleologies,
the irony of your lection
being bad Aristophanes.
Eliot, Yeats, Woolf, and others
embosomed you with their regard,
sympathetic to such brothers
who despised those whom were ill-Starred
and though I might forgive them such
as was wont in that insane age,
you, villain, were not half so much
repentant on your prideful stage.
Some claim you recanted your songs
so thunderous with cannon force,
but even if true, how can wrongs,
once done, not continue their course?
They are as birds within a cage
set free, their talons stretched apart
to clutch the world with a sharp rage;
thunderbolts thrown into the heart.
You cannot outrace the echoes
that fly away from bygone words,
no more than may a weed beck those
seeds carried far by passing birds,
or passing storms, or fell ages,
the seeds sprouting roots and shoots far
and blooming fast, necrophages
of blood and soil spilled from a Star.

Clockwork Opportunism

The banker tired of the noisy geese in his lake, so he ordered his groundskeeper to scatter poisoned bread bits among the shoals. He then waited inside his mansion, occasionally glancing at his silver pocketwatch and enjoying his weekend leisure time. The next day the geese were all dead, their bodies floating lifeless upon the water. Satisfied, he strolled around the lake, breathing in the fresh Alpine air as it rebuffed the stench of the dead geese. Suddenly, another flock of geese came swooping down and settled upon the lake, ignoring the limp bodies as they relaxed upon the water. Seeing this, the banker laughed, shrugged, and fingered his silver pocketwatch. The glass face of the watch shimmered like the face of the lake.  The watch was of German make, dated to 1939. A Star of David was inscribed on the inside of the cover. The Swiss banker was not Jewish.  He turned to his groundskeeper and gestured toward the living geese floating undisturbed among the dead ones.
“How alike we are,” he said. “They never overlook an opportunity.”