"Consummation" and "Destruction" from Course of Empire, by Thomas Cole‘Bread and Circuses, Checks and Netflix’ by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society January 23, 2021 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 24 Comments . Tyrants would distribute largesse, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, “Long live the King!” —Juvenal Keep a mind that’s blind to widened outlook. Recite the writing on the PC wall. Preach from Satan’s trick-the-trusting playbook, Where speech is fine for some but not for all. Prize all lies as facts when frauds have checked them To spread the news the sycophants see fit. Revel in the peaceful frays and mayhem And praise each hypocrite of little wit. Back all Machiavellian maneuvers From those who loathe the country and its flag. Bow to rules of liberty removers— Accept debate is hate that begs a gag. Scorn a realm that cancels cancel-culture. Rip wings from dreams about to rise and soar. Flatter haughty autocratic vultures Who feed on crawlers kneeling on the floor… Then you will have your bread-and-circus savior; A Hun who’ll pledge a ton of fun for all. Such knavish, slavish, kiss-the-con behavior Will earn a payoff check—the fawner’s haul. Now Netflix blares across a captive nation As history’s tomes on Rome are left to burn. Those questioning the worth of liberation Are just about to wake up… look and learn. . . Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. 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CODEC News: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) 24 Responses Gail Root January 23, 2021 Concise verbiage, and delightfully incisive views as ever. Always a pleasure. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 I’m glad you enjoyed this, Gail – it’s not the most cheerful of poems, but I simply had to say it. Thank you, too, for your continued support. It means a lot. Reply BDW January 23, 2021 as per Aedile Cwerbus: I concur with Ms. Root; Ms. Bryant uses “concise verbiage”; and the quote from Juvenal is most appropriate. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 I’m glad Bruce Dale Wise finds the Juvenal quote “most appropriate” – it has cheered me no end. Reply Yael January 23, 2021 Great poem, I love it! A very insightful and perceptive commentary on our times. “Revel in the peaceful frays and mayhem And praise each hypocrite of little wit.” –these lines really capture my imagination. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 Thank you, Yael. I tried hard to capture history’s dark lessons lurking beneath the current foolish façade and I’m thrilled my poetic message captured your imagination. Reply Russel Winick January 23, 2021 All church bells will run out of chimes, Ere Susan will use up her rhymes. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 Russel – absolutely! Reply BRIAN YAPKO January 23, 2021 Good one! The comparison to ancient Rome is an apt one. I like the line “Scorn a realm that cancels cancel culture.” I wish your skillful descriptions of our present condition were less accurate. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a time and place where ideology provides an excuse for history to be rewritten, ignored or distorted through an unfunhouse mirror. History is real, whether people like it or not. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 Brian, I appreciate your considered and spot on comment and love your “unfunhouse mirror” analogy – how apt. I also wish my images of the current Western world weren’t as valid. Everyday, I try hard to put my pen down and bury my head in the sand… but, poetry won’t let me… this is the very first time I can say, I am truly suffering for my art. I hope another Octopus springs to the fore soon… sea monsters seem like cuddlesome teddy bears compared to the current administration. 😉 Reply Margaret Coats January 24, 2021 Quite an admonition for anyone who will listen. “Accept debate is hate that begs a gag” deals not only with diminishing freedom of speech, but with redefinition of language that takes away its usefulness as a means human communication. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 Margaret, I am so glad you chose this line. Shutting down human communication and redefining language is the most wicked and dangerous thing any government can do – it erases our past and makes our present existence nothing but a lie… but, who out there knows or cares? A sad indictment of our tempestuous times. Reply David Watt January 24, 2021 Susan, I heartily agree, that the current ‘kiss-the-con behavior’ is sickening to observe. Thanks for adeptly highlighting the narrowness of opinion and thought which is a prerequisite for membership of the politically correct brigade. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 David, thank you for your continuing encouragement and words of wisdom on all my political efforts. I know I have a limited audience, but sometimes I feel poetry is the only way of getting the truth out there… it’s rare for a news article, a TV programme, or any political speech to reflect the accurate state of our predicament – this poetry site is the much needed antidote to the ill effects of media fakery. With much gratitude. Reply James Sale January 24, 2021 Excellent work Susan – this has got a real, vitriolic kick in it. Love the line especially: ‘Scorn a realm that cancels cancel-culture.’ Yes, indeed. Very skilfully done. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 James, thank you! I absolutely adore the term “vitriolic kick” – I am tempted to steal it for my next poem. 🙂 Reply James Sale January 25, 2021 Ha! If it’s useful, please do Susan! Julian D. Woodruff February 26, 2021 Susan, Do use that “vk” on the ones you’re enflamed at And do not forget the sweet spot that it’s aimed at! Cynthia Erlandson January 24, 2021 I agree with everyone that this is really good stuff. “Maneuvers / removers” indeed! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 24, 2021 Cynthia, thank you very much. It’s always great to have the support of fellow poets when putting one’s neck above the PC parapet. I will admit that I do get a little worried at times, and all the poets on this page (including your good self) make my efforts at keeping the truth alive well worth it. Thanks again! Reply C.B. Anderson January 26, 2021 It can’t get much better than this, Susan, but I am sure that somehow you will find a way. Reply Gail Root January 26, 2021 I believe you’re right! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 27, 2021 C.B., and Gail, I’m getting a lot of threatening and negative kickback at the moment, and your words inspire me to carry on… and I will. As I always say, freedom means more to me than my reputation. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Reply Gail Root January 27, 2021 You’re most welcome! Reply Leave a Reply to Margaret Coats Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.