Justice,  Equity  and  Compassion  in  Human  Relations

In realms of Humankind’s relations, Justice rules as queen
& from her crown, the powers Compassion & Equity
descend to Earth like stars, divine & regal past all seen
to glorify those hearts sublime that scorn all Evil’s seeds,
for Virtue feeds her worshippers with fruits of Happiness
whose taste outshines those flowers, warped & cursed, which Satan grows
within his severed gardens, sweet seductive though they kiss
the eyes of fools, they poison Hope & only please Death’s crows,
since lying Crime just leads to hollowness & stunted strength,
& Partiality beguiles one blinder than a king
whose narrow mind decrees that none may leave his country’s length,
& Love alone can turn hard walls of prison to nothing.
Let Righteousness & Tolerance guide all you think & do
that Life might bloom into a paradise more dream than true.


Bus  Station  Man  of  Mystery

“On a mission
for the Navy
to kill a man,”
he states bravely;

Mammon’s fountain
will flow for him
when once he climbs
that grim mountain—
Time, time runs on
in fields of lead,
as does his wand,
raising the dead;
While dragons sing
and fairies dance,
he weaves his ring
and fools enchants:
He was a prince
in foreign lands—
he once convinced
a queen’s fair hand,
And it’s no lie:
he sowed the stars
in twinkling skies
with rad’ant pow’rs—
The sun and moon
both bear his sign—
he left it there
in ancient times;
Primal terrors
by his sword fell,
Roman treasures
he’ll gallant sell;
Old Atlantis
was his first home,
and angels kissed
his newborn crown,
But now he says
that he must go
to meet a guy
who knew Zoro;

oh, by the way,—
could you, per se,
loan him some cash?—
he’ll pay you back

at three o’clock,
it’s just that he
a small sum needs
to grease the lock;

& so, you lend,
because in school,
they made you bend
to Golden Rules;

& then, he’s off,
bloaten belly,
bleared eyes, slight cough,
smells of deli:

A knight of myth
by chaos wrought
who dreamfire smiths
with deranged thought,

& though you wait
while coffee burns,
& though you’re late,
he won’t return—

Magic Mirror
in bathroom stall:
who is the more
crazed animal?

* * * * *

“I’m on a mission for the Navy for which I will be paid a sum of twenty to thirty million dollars once the deed is done, once I get the other guy . . . I see you writing some poetry there. You know, I’m actually a nationally recognized poet—Springfield, Massachusetts Poetry Magazine, Volume 21, 1988, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”— I wrote that . . . now I’ve got to go meet the guy for the deposit, but I’ll be back at 3.”


M. H. Thompson was born on February 15, 1990, in about 12 in the morning, in a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.  G. M. H. Thompson received a B.A. in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the twelfth of May, 2013.  G. M. H. Thompson is currently the singer/songwriter/rhythm-guitarist for the rock band Thee Oswalds.

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6 Responses

  1. José Vieira

    A dense poem that invites several readings and reflection. With some beautiful lines.
    I will read it again.

    • G. M. H. Thompson

      Thank you. ‘Justice, Equity and Compassion in Human Relations’ is the second core principle of Unitarian Universalism, and the poem was written to be a religious poem for that faith, of which I am nominally a member; I used a number of capitalized abstractions, and this was done with serious intent but at the same time as a bit of tongue-and-cheek humor at the stuffiness of poetry, as was my use of fourteeners.

  2. Sultana

    I like the ideas in ‘Bus Station Man of Mystery.’ Intriguing. I agree it’s a dense poem that invites a few re-reads…

    • G. M. H. Thompson

      Oh, thank you, you’re too kind. Skeltonics are always really fun to write, and this one just came to me in a rush, mere few hours before the deadline. I’ve always been a very big fan of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, & it’s sort of a similar piece, yet less confrontational, more observational.

      I wrote it after witnessing a unkempt, decrepit man who was either homeless or mentally lost in some way, or possibly both, having a conversation with a idealistic young man in a bus station, the St. Louis, Missouri central station to be precise, 5 minutes from where The Blues play, and about 10 from The Cardinals. The end prose paragraph is in quotation marks because it is my recollection of some things the man addressed to me– he was very much of the same mold as James Joyce’s famous seven-years-gone sailor, W. B. Murphy (who of course is a parody of Odysseus in disguise as a beggar, returned to the banquet of suitors), the sort of man who feeds off attention with a sycophantic sense of self-importance.

      The italicized verses are what the poet is thinking as this man narrates his ridiculous exaggerations, which is to say they are hyperbolic exaggerations of hyperbolic exaggerations. The unitalicized verses are objective statements about the situation– I originally wrote all verses unitalicized, but some people found this confusing, so I italicized the psychologically exaggerated observations in an attempt to make the work more lucid.

  3. Basil Drew Eceu

    G. M. H. Thompson, “Justice, Equity, and Compassion” is an unusual poem, which seems like a Blakean sonnet, were he ever to have written one: perplexing, as if one is locked in a late 18th century time-warp, yet promising.

    • G. M. H. Thompson

      That’s a very high complement, Walrus Ice Bede. Blake is one of my favorite poets, and of the Romantics, I deem him the chief, in more than one sense (and I am aware that some do not consider Blake a Romantic).


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