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Thursday, March 18, 2010

17. 2003 Let me have men about me that are ...

I wrote this poem in 2003, as the world still reeled in the after shocks of the September 11 bombing of the Twin Towers. Suddam Hussein was being tarred and feathered, and accused of developing weapons of mass destruction. Finding none in Iraq, GB decided to export his own WMD, along with tens of thousands of American troops, and England and Australia fell into line and marched to the steady beat of the drums of war.

2003 Let me have men about me that are ...

Let me have men about me that are fat …
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.

Mostly I detest all stereotypes:
The Estate agent with the gold capped tooth
The tattoed bikie with the heart of gold
But when it comes to height - aye, there's the rub ...

Wise Will, you might have written – with good cause
"Let me have men about me who are tall ...
Or men about me of a middle height..."

Yon George and John are short and full of guile
Perhaps they both resent their lesser stature
Their childhood dreams were of heroic deeds
But they fell short of the heights to which they aspired

But stop a moment, look at those two now
See how they strut and pose on our world’s stage
Turning their 97 pounded puniness
Into these images of Hercules.

‘Twas Cassius, a thin, ignoble man
That conned the noble Brutus to his cause
And so the mighty Caesar was brought down
Knives in his back, blood on the Senate floor.
As Will observed: "Such men ARE dangerous!"

This George and John would rush us into battle
Would send our nation’s children, one by one
And sacrifice them on the altar of Pride -
Of Pride and Vindication and Revenge

Beware smug pipsqueaks with their overblown dreams
Who in their blind obsession wish to make
Goliaths of themselves and corpses of our young.

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