The Decline


In the final days of the Republic,
A chimpanzee was raised to the throne.
He smote other nations terrible blows,
Killing women, children, and men.

The heavens grew dark and withdrew their favour.
Forests fell under the blade. Rivers and lakes
Boiled over, becoming poisonous drains.
Animals were overcome by the drilling
And the mining of their homes.

The simian emperor saw and he grinned,
Slapping his sides with undisguised glee.
Quickly he called for arrests to be made
If anyone dared to stand in his way.

The world became smaller as all possibilities
Faded to grey, till only one impulse remained—
Greed which kept growing, knowing no bounds,
Intent on the looting of every domain.

To the east and west, to the north and south,
Every country that challenged the empire
Was labelled a threat to the peace of the world.

Armies invaded each state to insure
Its riches would flow to the chimp.

All went according to plan.
The chimp grew more bold
As he stamped out dissent.

To keep the chimp wealthy along with his friends,
The people who lived in the empire
Gave up their daughters and sons.

But then the unthinkable happened—
One day it all came to an end.
Even the emperor could no longer pretend
There was anything left to take from the land.

And so the chimp empire imploded at last.
Consuming the meat and the marrow
Of earth, air, and sea, there was nothing
To hold up the top-heavy structure.

It fell to its ruin beneath the earth's crust.
It fell to an oven of red-hot ore, where greed
         Met its match in the magma core.

No more would the empire destroy as it pleased—
         Now it was nothing but cinders
         Mixed in the igneous rocks.

Hearts of stone returned to stone again,
         And here our story ends.


©2016 Michael Fraley




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