Written upon reading the book How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World.

The beast once foretold for the end of days
Crouched in a Karl Marx statue erected
Last month in Germany, where it displays
A villain’s face now praised and respected.

The beast’s scales are the merchandise array,
With Che Guevara, Chairman Mao, red stars,
And sickle-hammer imprints, sold today;
Its horns are tortured lives and grimy bars;

Each pore beneath reads “Made in China,” which
Is stamped on every other thing you own,
And make the beast’s red color deep and rich;
Fed well on innocent blood, it has grown.

But should we enter further, through its mouth
(The doorway into Lenin’s tourist tomb),
A truth about the beast is figured out:
That all the world, it’s poised to now consume.

The harmony of classes that each sage
Through history and every nation’s past
Sought to preserve with word or pen on page
Has nearly come to breathe its noble last,

While jealousy fills up like abscess pus
And turns each countryman against the next.
Thus, in its jaws, the beast is crushing us;
Equality is just the beast’s pretext.

And also pinned within its hungry jaws,
Belief in unseen powers great and good
That stipulate our basic moral laws—
A fact world cultures all once understood.

Without a conscience, we grow cancerous:
Transgender, gay rights, gangs, and drugs, what’s next?
Such shameful acts destroy the souls of us;
While freedom is another beast pretext.

Yet, in its heart, the beast fears most of all
Just human beings, we, who have the gall,
We serfs and lords, we sinners low, saints tall,
Who will not let that bastard make us fall!

 

Evan Mantyk is President of the Society and teaches English literature and history in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

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19 Responses

  1. Joseph Tessitore

    Bases loaded, the wind-up and the pitch – there’s a fly ball to deep center field; that ball is going, going, it is gone! A grand slam home run!

    And you had the gall to write it! Congratulations, Evan!

    Reply
  2. James Sale

    Very powerful poem, Evan, and it will come as no surprise that I especially like stanza 7 and its ‘A fact all world cultures once understood’. Spot on. And I also like the way you draw attention to that most phoney of virtues: equality. You’d think that C20th demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that when you pursue these ideological aims the result is always despotism: starting with the French Revolution and their fatuous equality, liberty and fraternity and where did that lead within less than a decade? The Reign of Terror to be followed by Napoleon and the Napoleonic Code – all of which are alive and well in Europe now. I am unashamedly a Brit and a Brexiteer (that is, the UK out of Europe) – your poem does a great job in pointing to the inherent dangers of these ideologies which their followers blithely ignore.

    Reply
  3. Joseph Tessitore

    Can’t say enough about this one!
    Nobody’s gonna be telling you to grow a pair anytime soon!
    Exceptional work!
    Bravo Evan!

    Reply
      • Joe Tessitore

        I remember, and I remember apologizing to you for my comment.

        In this case I’m coming from an incredibly funny comment made about “growing a pair” from one poet to another.
        It may be coarse, but I don’t think it gets to the “smear” level.
        Further, I didn’t retract what I said about that. I apologized for crossing the line and making it personal.

  4. E. V.

    Joe, I wrote a humorous poem about trolls. The noun “toilet bowls” is much more tame than the phrase “grow a pair”. Yet, your criticism of my word choice was brutal. Although you did apologize, apologies don’t neutralize the cruelty of the initial comment. I accepted, believing that you have very delicate sensibilities, which (based upon your above comment) is obviously not true. No, Joe, I don’t withdraw my acceptance of your apology. I just wanted to flag this.

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      This is neither the time nor the place for this.
      I’d be happy to continue this with you privately.
      Evan can exchange our email addresses if you’re agreeable.

      Reply
      • E. V.

        Agreed! This is Evan’s day, and we should celebrate his work. I don’t have a problem with Evan giving you my email address.

  5. David Watt

    Evan, your poem confronts an insidious menace with reason and faultless verse.

    Reply
  6. Leo Yankevich

    “Each pore beneath reads “Made in China,” which
    Is stamped on every other thing you own,
    And make the beast’s red color deep and rich;
    Fed well on innocent blood, it has grown.”

    So true. In communist China slave labourers make 29 cents an hour. These commies are also master hackers. They often hack our business websites. I had to spend 10 minutes (that’s how good I am at IT) restoring our word press-based sites yesterday. I apologize for my bad humour.

    Reply
  7. Fr. Richard Libby

    Mr. Mantyk, this poem is a credit to your skill as a poet, to your knowledge of history, and to your courage. Well done!

    Reply
  8. C.B. Anderson

    Evan,

    This poem was poignant throughout, but I thought the third stanza was killer.

    Reply
  9. D. Morris

    As a new member, I have to say that this poem paints an accurately, but truly terrifying of where we’re at and where we continue to head.

    Reply

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