A rough update of a 14th century depiction of hell.‘The Beast Once Foretold’ by Evan Mantyk The Society June 23, 2018 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 19 Comments 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 makes 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. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 19 Responses Amy Foreman June 23, 2018 Powerful. Thank you, Evan. Reply Joseph Tessitore June 23, 2018 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 James Sale June 23, 2018 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 Lenore Arnow June 23, 2018 A powerful statement expressed so well! Reply Joseph Tessitore June 23, 2018 Can’t say enough about this one! Nobody’s gonna be telling you to grow a pair anytime soon! Exceptional work! Bravo Evan! Reply E. V. June 23, 2018 Joe, this is an unexpected comment: In my 3/26/18 rondeau, A Tribe of Trolls, your sensibilities were attacked by my use of “toilet bowls” and, yet, here you are using THAT anatomical phrase … For quick reference, here’s the link: http://classicalpoets.org/a-tribe-of-trolls-by-e-v-wyler/ Reply Joe Tessitore June 23, 2018 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. E. V. June 23, 2018 The poem is a timeless truth, powerfully told. Reply David Paul Behrens June 23, 2018 A great poem! Well constructed and meaningful. Reply E. V. June 23, 2018 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 June 23, 2018 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. June 23, 2018 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. David Watt June 23, 2018 Evan, your poem confronts an insidious menace with reason and faultless verse. Reply Leo Yankevich June 24, 2018 I hugely enjoyed this, and the image is superb. Reply Leo Yankevich June 24, 2018 “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 Evan M. June 25, 2018 Thank you all for your comments! Reply Fr. Richard Libby June 25, 2018 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 C.B. Anderson June 26, 2018 Evan, This poem was poignant throughout, but I thought the third stanza was killer. Reply D. Morris August 26, 2018 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. 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