Bearers Of Bad News

Poets are the bearers of bad news.
Our tongues are drenched in oil,
Our teeth as shards of flint;
We set the world ablaze when we speak.

Poets speak truth, not only to power,
But to the weak, to convince them
That they, too, are powerful.
Those that rule do so not from their own strength;
They siphon energy from the meek,
Gorging themselves on what the weak feed them:
Fear. Doubt. Mistrust. Prejudice. Faith.
Poets would remind both parties of this truth.

Poets are the disease of a wretched world.
We write until skin and flesh are sanded
Down to the bone, and pens are held
In alabaster fingers. Poets shout,
Our words burning our throats as they exit
Our parched mouths. Society has wrung
Poets dry; twisted and squeezed us until
We are as brittle as yellowed parchment.
But we do not crumble when touched.
With nails in our palms, we still write;
We rip the arrows from our chests, and brazenly
Display to the world the puncture wound.

Poets are the bearers of ill tidings; our presence manifests doom.
Poets are zombies riding the four horses of the apocalypse.
We announce the arrival of war, famine, pestilence and death.
We attempt to warn those around us to take cover or prepare
For battle, but the pounding of our galloping steads
Upon the hard road of your souls muffles our message. 

Poets are the bearers of bad news.
We are living testaments that pain does heal,
Even as we slit our wrists with our pens
And stand bleeding upon the stage–for all eyes
Brave enough to gaze upon us to see.
Poets smirk as the audience marvels
At how the poets’ wounds close;
They witness the transformation from death to life.
Poets commit seppuku on stage in order
To protect humanity’s honor, though the world
Would rather cast poets into the void,
Like disgraced ronin bereft of lord and home.

Poets are the bearers of bad news.
Our existence is proof that although
Wounds turn to scars and scars heal,
Life is a spinning wheel of knives–
You will get cut again. Look upon
The countenance of poets, at the 
Crisscrossed tattoo of slashes life
Rewards us with. We come to you,
Flesh marred by truth, and you would turn
Away from us, repulsed by our appearance.

That’s why poets are bearers of bad news.
We are living proof that there is no
Succor from this scourge called existence.
The torment of this life is never-ending.

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen