Tribes, States, and Empires

 

Here, in these cryptic marks of curves and hollows,

I share my view of history:

 

First are the tribes, leaders and followers.

Then the tribes become states, and

The states become empires.

The cardinal virtues and cardinal vices

Rise to play their rolesó

Wielding force and fear.

The cardinal vices twist and turn

The screws of power and torture,

While the cardinal virtues

Fill the tribes with guilt.

Nasty, brutish, short are the days, and

The nights bring no rest, no respite. 

 

And priests arise, robed, and smelling of incense

Claim to have intercourse with the divine, and

Tribes, states, and empiresó

Clinging to their vices and virtues

Persist.

 

 Such is my view of history.

 

--February 17, 2013