The Quality of Being Afraid

When I think of the old providence,
  the land where gods were megaliths
and human wants were always gone
  the moment the chief called for blood,
I think that our ancestors had known 
  that beating hearts were a pestilence
to be separated from the chest
  before the plague had taken hold
  of more than just their overlords.

These chiefly warlords would murder
rather than admit they hadn’t a clue.

The common man was sure the score
  but they hadn’t the answers either,
and hearts split from chests seemed better
  than the madness of a civil war.

It’s times of drought and starvation 
  that mute and warp the moral herd
and leads them to the depths that's human 
  where men can sacrifice their friends.

I speak of humans then and now
and know that reason seldom holds.

All the love and wonderment
  one could offer to heaven’s gates
will not alter a single thing
  because we desperately follow 
rulers and beg them for their lead.

But how can they offer us more 
  than any other ruler’s curse
when they cannot solved the reason 
  why men turn their backs and eyes
to accept that we must have sacrifice,
  despite the fact that hardships come
regardless of our best of hopes,
  regardless how much sacrifice,
regardless of the leaders we’ve chose;
  In truth we’re truly on our own
because our leadership can’t fix itself,
  and brother will murder brother
for fear he has a better gift,
  and all of leaders are just men
who have that most human ailment—
  the quality of being afraid.









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