Building bigger barns

Dwelling in the frantic phoniness
that fills the weeks between the calling
of the election and the voting,
we are confronted by the various
parties’ priorities for building bigger barns.
We shall gather to ourselves
and lock away for the fearful future
those things that make us rich,
that we value above all else.
We shall erect a barn for the borders
that must be desperately protected
from people who voyage in boats; poor, fearful,
and as wretched as the vessels to which they
have entrusted their lives and their hopes.
Wealth shall be gathered into silos and defended
against the ravages of responsibility
that might see it paying for the big clean-up
that everybody knows will have to come. One day.
There shall be a separate, sheltered barn
for leaders afraid of making decisions
that might prove to be unpopular,
lest they no longer enjoy the favour of the people.
This is democracy, and it has its own barn,
galvanized and gleaming in the sun.
There is also a barn, full and overbursting
with responsible economic policies,
that all of our leaders are required
to visit regularly, to establish
their correct credentials, or else
we will not place a number low enough
in the boxes beside their names.
They say that there is a barn, somewhere,
that holds the nation’s store
of compassion, truth and justice.
It is apparently a small barn and there are
no proposals to build a larger one; besides,
its GPS coordinates
are believed to have been mislaid.
 

© Ken Rookes

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