Poetry by D.W. Walker

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I'm No Fan of Pandora

Being a god isn't all it's cracked up to be.
It's not the responsibility
The punters down there can go stew.
The problem is that your power is limited
To what the believers believe you can do,
And let's face it,
They have damn all imagination.
And if there's more than one god,
The others are sure to stuff up your best stunts.

Our business model is blackmail.
Always has been.
Make your sacrifices
Or we'll freeze you out, flood you out, scorch you out
Or blow you away.
It's a bit of a scam,
Because it's going to happen anyway
But most of the time it doesn't
So you did your job,
And when it does happen,
The sacrifices weren't enough
Or the ceremonies were done wrong.

For a while we were in the drugs business
Carefully measured doses of lust, avarice and gluttony
Shipped around the world in sealed amphorae
To be opened and consumed by privileged elites
In the privacy of their palaces,
A smidgin of hope at the bottom
As a promise of the next shipment.

Pandora stuffed that one up.
She was a disaster area from the word go.
Designed by a committee,
She was shipped out as a wife to some demigod,
So she got into the cargo and opened the jars.
End of business.
When the whole world's got your fix,
You're nowhere.

We turned it around for a while.
Redefined everything as sin,
Cleansing only available from our accredited agents.
But the credibility of that line was always a bit suss,
Given our agents.

So we've moved on.
There's a new god now.
Name of Growth*.
Sounds like a dog
With more heads than my old mate Cerberus.
Its icon is modern,
A single curve rising ever more steeply towards the sky,
But it's really very traditional,
Omnipotent, omnipresent,
Wilful, erratic,
Concerned only with itself,
Tended by a priesthood in a distinctive garb 
Suits and ties 
Lining their pockets with the contributions of the faithful,
Spouting incomprehensible mumbo jumbo
Containing words like market, competition and opportunity
To which are attached arcane, impenetrable meanings
On which the whole future of the world inevitably hangs
For the next quarter, at least.

David Walker

* Pronounced "Growff".


Copyright D.W. Walker, 2009

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