We shake our heads, and wonder, “Why?” aloud
each time some speeding truck plows through a crowd,

or grinning gunman gloats at blood and breath
spilled and extinguished by his date with death;

or when some faithless man, supposing life
is little more than sex, discards his wife

and children, showing not the least remorse;
and when some jackboot beats a saint – or worse –

we look the other way, or maybe pray
and shrug, not knowing what to do or say.

For we have tolerated, without much
objection, all the many lies that clutch

our throats with ever-tightening grip, as by
our shameful, silent sufferance we comply

with those who teach that life is meaningless,
and satisfying self’s the way to bless

your nonexistent soul; who bloviate
on moral duty while they tolerate

whatever new morality some fool
in academic garb touts as a rule

of life; and who, like us and all the rest,
care only for whatever suits them best.

So when mind-boggling sadnesses occur,
and minds grope vainly, and the truth’s a blur,

instead of asking “Why?” we really ought,
all things considered, ask ourselves, “Why not?”



T.M. Moore’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published five volumes of verse through his ministry’s imprint, Waxed Tablet Publications. He is Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, he and his wife, Susie, reside in Essex Junction, VT.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO POETS: 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 mbryant@classicalpoets.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.


6 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    It’s all around us: Nihilism, relativism & pandemic self-indulgence. Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated or restated, especially if it is done well, as you just have.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    The interesting thing about this poem is that the author, Mr. Moore, has clearly been “red-pilled,” as we say in the United States. This means that he has finally realized that a great deal of the terrorism we have to endure is not primarily the result of malice or insanity or criminality, but of the secret toleration of terrorist ideals and agendas by our ruling class — that is, the scum in mainstream media, the Democratic Party, our universities, and our chattering classes. These vermin are the ones who constantly come up with subtle apologies and excuses and explanations for terrorism, trying to convince us that we are somehow to blame for it.

    We can kill terrorists; there’s no difficulty in that. But we are prevented from going after their apologists in positions of cultural authority.

    Our only real hope is that more and more people become “red-pilled,” like Mr. Moore.

  3. Mark Stone

    T.M.,  The poem immediately made me think of the following quotation by Robert Kennedy (the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and a presidential candidate in 1968):  “Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”  The poem is very strong in terms of message, rhyme, meter and alliteration.  However, I’m left with one question, which is: Why not what? I’m sure that something is implied, but I’m just not picking up on it.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      The poem is saying that we should not be surprised by terrorist acts in our society, since such acts are excused and palliated by those in positions of cultural authority. Instead of asking “WHY did such a terrorist act occur?” we should be asking “Why NOT, considering the ways in which terrorists and terrorism are philosophically tolerated and often defended by our mainstream media and academia and not a few of our left-liberal politicians?”

      As for that stupid quote from Bobby Kennedy, I remember it well. It was just boilerplate utopianism, designed to appeal to dreamy liberals.

  4. Mark Stone

    Professor Salemi, Thank you for the explanation. It makes sense now.

    T.M.,  To prevent others from experiencing the same confusion I did, I recommend you flesh out the point a bit. Here’s one possibility for the final stanza.

    When villains strike and sadnesses occur,
    and minds grope vainly and the truth’s a blur,
    instead of asking “Why?” we really ought
    to ask ourselves instead, “Why would they not?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.