by nielskunze on December 9, 2020

“Shut up!”
Mooed the crowd, in fits and spasms.
“And put your muzzle back on!”
They agreed, uncowed, hardly passive…
This herd has been weaponized, thought I,
Looking to the warning eyes,
Nervous above the bullhorn:
“Tyranny requires your compliance!
And genocide your righteous zeal!”
And the only escape… a train to… Auschwitz?
With a ticket not to feel… any… real conscience?

‘Love over fear’ the herd has always taught,
A simple choice like the colour of socks…
Or masks, or flags…or jaundiced bellies… perhaps?
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure,
It’s that it’s love which does the choosing,
Not I, nor you… nor policies or mandates…
Because fear’s antonym and antidote
Is the long-lost curiosity that climbs
All the tricky fences in barbwire minds.

“Listen to the experts!” sneer Politicos,
“But only these, not those— God no!”
Selected to parse the truth with knives of arrogance,
For an imbecilic youth, such vaunted brilliance,
So easily tramples questions beneath foot and hoof…
As I recall Orwell’s lasting image of the stomping boot.

“Cover your face… or we’ll be forced to crush it!”
I understand…
“It’s for the best and good of all…”
I understand far too well
Where all the darkest histories of hell have stood—
Beneath the thin disguise of lies:
It’s for the greater good—
Always. I remember… as you berate me,
Ever the power of true compassion escapes thee.

“Ye! Creature of convenience,
It’s so little what we ask:
Just a mask… and a pinprick… oh, and the silence of your conscience…”
Shhh! They don’t talk about that part—
For in this brave new world only refusal has no heart.
“If we can save just… one… life… you’ll see; it’s worth it.”
But on the way to worth
We trampled and shat on everything else:
Conscience and livelihood, the meaning of living… and self…
But everybody poops…

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