Sunday, March 11, 2007


Poem of the Day

The Baddies

Carefully stepping around the bloody messes
we find in history books, as on the streets,
we utterly disown them. Such excesses,
    furors and manic heats

are way outside the scope of excellent
and decent you and me. Large madnesses,
like wars and massacres especially,
    no one acknowledges.

In fact, it seems unlikely that the worst
villainies are ever performed by people.
Instead, there is this flock of ugly birds
    who specialize in evil.

It's they who swoop about committing
the viler deeds, who lynch, betray and loot,
run slaves, brain babies, roast and disembowel,
    act the inhuman brute.

With reptile blood and wicked eyes they look
the part they play—veterans of crime.
Impersonal, anonymous, the birds
    are baddies, who in time

take on official status, seem so much
like public representatives that we
contrive to think of them as products of
    municipal rookeries;

forgetting in our pious scramble that
these vicious flocks can only be refreshed
by dark things flapping clumsily away
    from private cuckoo nests.

—R.E. Sebenthall,
   Acquainted with a chance of bobcats

Related post
"Serbia is deeply shocked" (6/6/05)


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