The Fall of the Fourth Estate a rondeau The Media: the Fourth Estate* Performed disgracefully of late: Delivering the news askew, Allowing certain viewpoints through To fuel the discontent and hate. Campaigning bullies will berate The citizens and educate Their friends to start deferring to The Media. All politicians propagate Hypocrisy and subjugate Constituents with their worldview While building up their revenue, And few are eager to negate The Media. * "The Fourth Estate" is a term attributed to British politician Edmund Burke in 1787, referring to the press as a political force whose influence is not consistently or officially recognized. Humilitas There is this hope they will remember me, While not with flags half-lowered on the pole, As someone they would all aspire to be: A model man—another kindred soul. Intentions were befouled by circumstance. Accomplishments seem slight when said aloud. But when I failed to seize a second chance, I still survived unbroken and unbowed. There will be those who mark my death with tears As substance passes quickly into shade; I pray they judge my time productive years And face their circumstances unafraid. I leave this life to stand before a gate And pray to God my name's upon the scroll, That afterlife may grant a better fate Than I deserve in judgments of the soul. The Captain to His Mate These days I often pause to contemplate How fortunate I am to share with you Our struggles overcome which left our fate Unbroken by the tempests rolling through. God knows some days we've been denied a breeze; However, we've survived the strongest gales To right the ship and head for calmer seas, Fair winds be damned as we unfurled the sails. Until our voyage runs its natural course, Land-sightings will be few and far between. No hurricane or like destructive force Exists to make our journey less serene. So long as you are with me on this trip, Survival means I won't give up the ship. Randal A. Burd, Jr. is an educator, freelance editor, writer, and poet. His freelance writing includes assignments on the paid writing team for Ancestry.com and multiple online blogs, newsletters, and publications. Randal received his Master’s Degree in English Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri. He currently works on the site of a residential treatment facility for juveniles in rural Missouri. He lives in southeast Missouri with his wife and two children.