Category Archives: Economics

“Reticent”

Hoover

President Herbert Hoover [1874-1964]

“Reticent”

Reticent; yes, with you still gone and fading posters piled,
I snag a moment’s thread while you tire of lightning rods—
What? Gentle greens, you say? Acidic teardrops cool your face, pods
Of bloated croaking frogs still lowing legless in their noxious streams on miles
Of floating bleachers scrutinise Inaugural prizes
sought by cheerless choral crows
Who flirt with impunity together; tireless efforts, distractions from
All pious convocation, their shamans–mystic petrels–entertain the sum
Of ancient lines of seers, their nests left unprotected still and breathing shallow
There against the charcoal sky in absolute denial of the obscene call
To let the bulls stand tall–who remembers who we were before descent?
And you wonder why I ask, “Who pays the rent?”
You see nothing between, you and me and Humpty Dumpty on the wall.
“Life is life and Obama smiles,”you say, and nothing in between refines
The thin red line behind that smile and Hoover’s curse in 1929.

President Barack Hussein Obama II [1961 – ]

“The Greeks Have Flown”

“The Greeks Have Flown”

The Greeks have flown; they’ve left their god
A morsel, a token of devoted consummation,
And a fitting tribute to Poseidon on the shores of conflagration
As Casandra’s painful cries go largely unheeded beyond a nod
From time to time within the royal brood; their sovereign’s rod
And sceptre sanctified by land and sea, firm determination
To abide by what is thought a victory for the nation
Complete with joyous riots in the streets, the sod
Still wet festooned with crimson oils and a decade laid to waste;
While Trojan mothers weep, their sons receive the final rites
And Priam’s troubles treble as the night in blindness falls.
Wreathes of fine remembrance punctuate belated joys, the caul
Of sorrow thin and thinner in the ritual; they’ll circumambulate
The horse that dwells within the walls and sleep in peace tonight.

“Humour Is Impossible”

“Humour Is Impossible”

Humour is impossible in the throes
of serious contemplation of the most potent question
ever asked on any secular page of literature:
“To be or not to be, that is the question,…”

When faced with such a query,
who will denigrate his own
imagined station and position within what is,
after all, a lethal situation for all of us?

The bourgeoisie cannot afford to ask the question;
the rich above the need of contemplation;
the poor too oppressed by the instincts,
the daily needs of hunting and gathering

simply to ensure a continued existence
in this world share  a modicum of
some comfort on the odd occasion.
The rich experience nothing because

every effort costs them nothing;
their pride, therefore, is rendered moot.
The bourgeois may well seek to own his world
in terms of expressions of what he imagines

the bailiwick of their betters,
and indeed, but fails to recognise
that ownership without purpose
sustained over a generation or two

is inevitably the prescription
for yet another application
of the Peter Principle
or the Dunning-Kruger Effect

and, as with poisons can provide
as great a lethal punch to the soul
as it can be in beneficial form to the body.
The poor experience the wonders

of life, struggle, and death but have no voice,
no language that does not promote
anything short of need at best, sedition
at worst when given half a chance,

and in the odd instance passing freedom from sheer want.
Witness: from a tax revolt in 1776, America did without its king;
1789, the French its monarchy and aristocracy;
1917, the Russians their czar, their aristocracy,
Their bourgeoisie yet all revolutions failed.

…But, Nymph in thine orisons be all my sins remembered,
strip away convention, then, and turn to prose….

Given all of the above and the advent of the credit card on the one hand, and ubiquitous Federal Reserve Bank Notes, the logical use and result of the invention of the printing press, what might have been humorous in the past has lost its flavour much like one’s wad of “chewing gum on the bedpost overnight,” simply because whether one addresses true tragedy or its counterpart in comedy, both rely on some helpful word as to what constitutes the intrinsic good or, in short, the presence of virtue and its ultimate outcome, nobility, vraiment…. Without such a word, we have no choice but to think nothing is too sacred to denigrate, belittle, or even to crucify, as the history of all of the many Prophets and Messengers of God, not to mention spiritual philosophers have experienced and met Their ends; what, then can be said of the qualities of the arts and sciences, and the “pith and marrow” of any given society on this planet?

In the end, what constitutes a poet if in fact the characteristics of the artists and sciences have been laughed to scorn just as those of the basic institutions from the kings, popes, religious leaders of all kinds, lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, librarians, professions of all sorts. Once one has laughed at God, Himself, it is difficult or even impossible to maintain any semblance of nobility; what should the present two or three generations expect but that after what amounts to almost continual world wars from the 1840’s and straight into the present hour? So much for religion, government, and so much for the arts and sciences, and ultimately so much for the sanctity of life, itself; if Hamlet had some difficulty in maintaining his sense of humour in a Denmark rotten to the core in its banquet days, what, then, can be said of the “remains of the day,” as it were, by the by, so to speak, as the crow flies, in our sweet time, …que çela reste entre nous deux?….

“They Scrutinise”

“They Scrutinise”

They scrutinise the inner circle, seconds closer to the sun;
They tether vague fancies in what they see.
The goal, the Holy Mountain; the seed of moonbeams,
Sentimental grace notes in devotions on the run,
And as so much depends upon the multitudes, the hours in the flight,
The centre stage, the spotlight, so little alters the day’s applause,
The algorithms generously applied to the phrase or clause
Voiced without a thought to virtue, voids, or to the rites
Of solipsism in the critical mass, the accidental moment
Seen as just another occasional comma with little heed to order in a full stop.
I see them, I speak with them; I hear their thoughts,
Their questions earmarked from time to time–no need for comment
How much less provide a flint for yet another conflagration, yet another guess
Demanding fuel for candidates greater than the sun, never more, never less.


“They Have No Shame”

“They Have No Shame”

They have no shame, no tracks are hidden
The reds, the blues, the right and left;
The balances of power, laws bereft
Of common sense are disobeyed
before they’re written.
It is as if the litany of litanies of the whole
Demands intimidation of the sum,
not so much in matter–
Brains and beard, heel on up the ladder
Through the aurora to the poles, glacial melting for show
And tell; plumbing in seas with no drain, drilling stalled
But not for long– equities defined as winners in the chat box, scattered,
Anointed virtues virtual with no defense as charity declines
and as our beloved Scrooge resigns,
His slogans braying: “Are there no border guards, is there no bottom line;
In the event of volcanic ash and oil spills, the market’s doomed to fall?”
Ignorance is bliss as blogs and blarney multiply;
the tallies shake and confidence is shattered.

“We are encouraged to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that don’t last, on people we don’t care about.”

Professor Jackson, a member of the Sustainable Development Commission of the United Kingdom, made his comments at a panel discussion held this week in conjunction with the current session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

The Baha’i International Community cosponsored the discussion, titled “Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism.”

Countries are being driven further into debt–not to mention potential environmental catastrophe–by levels of consumerism that do not contribute to sustainability, Professor Jackson said.

“Ask Hucksers”

“Ask Hucksters”

Ask hucksters what they want and wander
Through oblivion to the source of specious theories,
Forecasts, and teapot tempests; reliquaries
That confuse Gertrude and her latest husband are set to thunder
In the index of both their worlds. The times are now aligned
To spend, to risk the whole at will. In the end, what binds
All capital are not the markets but the printing press–refined,
Its produce consigned as wallpaper in the study, and echoes of 1939
Followed closely on the air, subterfuge and incidentals
In the immanent reign of night–note the accent from the fireflies
That given space and stage enough are harmless as butterflies
And the common moth, winged creatures, given credentials
In an incremental vacuum. “Where’s the luminary of the age,”
They say, to feast his pen on renewable rites of slavery and sages?

“They’ve Played That Card”

“They’ve Played That Card”

They’ve played that card so many times: they blur
The icons, alter megabits until it’s come to be a part
Of them in triplicate, and still they’re at it. There’s an art
To all this noise, and something sinister in words
And sounds that take up so much memory
And leave so little history in the space of fifteen minutes in the light.
The antidote, the better for the overhaul, continual flights
Through manuals of casuistry and blame, the counterfeit incendiary
Of every curtain call, the wherewithal in the daily stampede to press.
The public calls for even more than all must be obvious to any least
Observer. Within the Fed, the yeast that feeds the beauty to the beast—
To hell with all the rest—with no surprise and endless repetition, the test
Of wills and willing contradictions to the golden rule, the pundit’s song,
Remembrances of frogs who inhabit ponds but moments, and are gone.

“The People Say They Want a Change”

“The People Say They Want a Change”

The people say they want a change; clubs
Are ripe for shifting gears and crowning kings
From diamonds or from hearts and while the telephones ring,
The bids are readied, cards are in; spades have flubbed,
There’s no one in the mood to compromise;
The deck is shuffled once again for luck,
Brand-new tires on the same old truck.
Promissory notes are dealt; the bids just rise, and rise,
And rise again. But, what’s this? Speculation’s brought
To automated stops on all the outbound tracks,
And while the freight departs, the passengers arrive. Dealers smack
Their lips, and rub their palms, and bids are caught
Between the speeches and cries at last of “No trump!”
Seconds later, Boardwalk yields to railroads, and everyone jumps.