When the roles of Dives and Lazarus reversed,
it was, tellingly, outside of the observable world.
You’ve got your Abraham there, preaching down from Heaven,
Lazarus sitting by him, smug, snug, watching Dives
burn in Hades for not being generous.
The scene’s set in the hereafter, as it must be.
In this world, which is the only world that’s real,
so far as any of us has ever seen,
the rich keep getting richer and do fine
ignoring the Lazari. They call them lazy.
Pretending to quantify the unquantifiable.
You can push up daisies in the comfort of your home
and hope you in your pot are set up higher
than the hapless statue of the garden gnome
that the playful Labrador knocked in the fire.
If and when your ashes incubate a tree
you’ll be proud as punch unless the Labrador
chooses it and you as a handy place to pee
in the pot you’ve chosen as your ever more.
(On seeing an article titled ‘Smart urn of the future nourishes a tree [an indoor tree] with the ashes of a loved one’
‘If only I could make the Whole World great again!
Make it pure, pristine, and airless like the moon!
Make the continents and teeming oceans great!
Rid their surfaces and depths of all things living!
Wait. I’ve got the power now. I can!’
(possible candidate for inclusion in work in progress CALIGULA UNBOUND)
‘What kind of wolf are you?’
‘I wish a were.’
‘Are you speaking grit,’ the gyring gorgon asked,
‘or subjugating us to the subjunctive?’
‘A were-wolf!’ whined the wolf whelp warily watching
the gyring gorgon’s garter-snake coiffure.
‘Why aren’t you venomous? Why am I not stone?’
‘Because we’re euro versions of old Europe,
defanged from funnelling finance to the Greeks,’
she fumed. She furrowed fang-scarred brow. She sat.
The whelp drew courage from that, and drew near.
It drew a Druid symbol in the sand.
It asked, ‘If we revert can I be dire?’
The gorgon hesitated, hissed green hairspray
at a spit-curl serpent forelock going astray.
She sighed, ‘Frankly, we must all now hang together.’
‘Surely Franklin,’ nit-picked pedantically the wolf.
‘Assuredly, we all hang separately
on every common interest we debate.’
Each regards the other, seeing nothing
they have in common, saving comedies
of errors, and they exit. Curtains. War.