The rich man’s table

capitalism has
gone sky high
and everyone
wants a slice;
those in poverty
read the tabloids
assuming truth
in every lie
they have the
right to vote
they draw their cross
in the box
marked suicide
because the
papers told them
it will
buy them a job
or at least supply
some human charity
they don’t know
they’re pig feed
to be tossed
into the
greed machine
and baked in one piece
just another
mundane millionaire meal
with caviar and
champagne

the rich man sits
so fat and pleased
he drinks their blood
and drips their grease
which pools and cools
around his feet
self-satisfied and at his ease
he never leaves
he
never
leaves

as we lose weight
and go to waste
he sits in state
and stuffs his face
and while we wait
so patiently
he’ll
never
go
away

©Jane Paterson Basil

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26 thoughts on “The rich man’s table

  1. Awesome!!! I can see one little change that could possible enhance the oomph… where you write “the greedy machine” you could try “the greed machine” and see how that works. When you take away the “y” in greedy, it feels like you’re pounding a hammer, which is what this poem is: the Hammer of Greed pounding the nails in civilization’s coffin.

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    1. You’re right! I’m going to change it – thanks for that.
      I could have spent a lot more time on this poem – the second and third stanzas have a perfect rhythm to them. When I write free verse I try to ignore the rhythm, but it builds up, and I can’t help myself, then I feel I should go back to the start and make it match, but I stopped myself this time. I thought it worked well as it was.

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      1. We don’t need “ism’s” we only need to live compassionately. “Ism’s” are tools of the controllers to manipulate and exploit the masses. Compassion is a personal choice. There are some I’ve encountered who call even compassion a utopia and all that is saying is, “I won’t try it because my programming tells me it won’t work.” And that programming comes from the “ism” makers. A vicious circle designed to ensure no one gets “it” and gets out. Soon though, if man doesn’t make the “unthinkable” choice to live compassionately he’ll be staring at a cliff edge from which he can’t back away. He may already be there.

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        1. Compassion is what we should aim at, but everyone on the earth would have to take part, and there are those who couldn’t – psychopaths, for example, and others with conditions which affect their reasoning abilities. We couldn’t take them out of the picture, as it wouldn’t be compassionate, and we’d need policing. In a fully compassionate we wouldn’t need police or leaders. What ever way you look at it, it’s catch 22.

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          1. …but… but… but… 🙂 OK, so you also are saying that it can’t work unless everybody else was involved. No, it’s the opposite of that. I’m not talking about everybody: that’s where the Matrix drives us, and where we always come up short, running the treadmill. Never mind everybody… never mind anybody else.

            Compassion is an individual choice, a personal commitment to a way of life that replaces all other non-personal non-choices, such as choosing the next MP or which charitable org. to donate to or which protest group to join or whatever. Compassion, which I’ve studied and worked with, eschews collectives, will never work within groups, or even with the individual who assumes it must be dragged into a group. Compassion is a way of life, not a utopia. It doesn’t give the magical answer to every riddle in life but it guides the compassionate person to make the best possible choice in any situation. Compassion isn’t weak either, it judges and it acts – a double-edged sword. Would a truly compassionate being ignore a case of injustice if it meant the need to use violence to end it? No. Compassion is action and the compassionate person/being accepts the social consequences through self-empowerment.

            At least that’s what I’ve learned about it so far. Maybe miles to go before I sleep and all that… take care o’ you!

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            1. Oh! I agree with you about all of that – I misunderstood – I thought you were naively suggesting that we could make the whole world perfect by being teaching every human being to be compassionate. I take on board, respect, and agree with all that you have said. Compassion on that level is not easy – it requires intelligence, confidence and bravery, but it can be done, surely.

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          1. actually yes, that’s the problem..now days people forget the utility/purpose of religion and that’s because organized religions are competing against each other, though essence of each one is same..may be because of materialistic culture..

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              1. yes..for capitalism accumulation of wealth matters more than anything else..though it has speeded up development, progress but grossly ignoring humanity..and that is worrisome aspect of it

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                1. Yes – development; we’ve lost the tools we need for a simpler way of life, but weren’t we happier living in tribes? Do washing machines and TV’s really give us so much joy, when weighed against the stresses of holding on to them?
                  Notice I don’t mention computers 🙂

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