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Rated: E · Poetry · Cultural · #2310057
ideals of an original christ-mas vs the imposing influence of a grasping numbing existence
Christmas for Intendant Caesars*

Ah! Christ’s-Mass again
That time of joypeacelovehope
The babe with iconic peacefulness
The parents with imperturbable countenances
The gentle, cleaned-up shepherds
(No swearing allowed, at least aloud!)
The mysterious, nameless Gentile sages
Improbable angel voices
Heady starlight lighting the way

But where is the dark separating the night from the day
Herod and his ilk
Longfellow’s cannons booming in the south
Leopold II in the Congo, a battleground still for imperialists,
Empires making the world a safe playground for business

Spread out over history
An open, ignored absence in the story except for Luke
Light blinds instead of enlightens
The dark comfortably obscured
How much does the wealth of the present
Depend upon the butchery and legitimated pirating of the past

And we?

Let us not hear of the oppressed of the nations
The poor who are always with you
(except as means to make us feel better about our charity)

Do not distract us with tales of the dark
Stories of justice
Coming down like rain
The poor lifted up
God rending the heavens in their defence
The rich sent away empty
The humble crowned

For to speak of the one alongside the other
Is a mirror too close


W.H. Auden, ‘In praise of Limestone’ -May 1948
(“Intendant Caesars rose and/Left, slamming the door.” Lines 55-56)
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