Sic Semper (evello mortem) Tyrannis by Rajnish Mishra
Sic semper [evello mortem] tyrannis
‘Still waters run deep’.
Clichés are good to begin a poem with.
I love justice and hate tyranny.
I love justice more than
I love my country, its people, my people, fame or wealth.
Sometimes, truth sounds clichéd.
Quid est veritas?
At first it seems not easy,
not quite, but then, as it’s natural to kill, so natural,
in fact, that they need to write,
sometimes on stone, sometimes on paper:
‘Thou shalt not kill!’
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
He rose high, and masses called him God.
He’s not alone, but caput gone triumvirate kaput.
It’s unnerving to feel within – a fierce, feral,
beast, unnamed and ferocious, rise and fill
all the space up under the skin
of a citizen: civilized, harmless and tamed.
The masses, sheep, sons and daughters of apes,
imitate, submit, follow and yield liberty
to tyrants, despots, usurpers with power,
for their patch of pasture or bunch of bananas.
‘But here I am to speak what I do know’
I am an honorable man, not a butcher.
You are an honorable man, no accomplice.
We are all honorable and good men.
They are not honorable.
Ehyeh asher Ehyeh.
You are what you are,
and masses are ‘them’, not ‘us’.
Strangely though, it’s them, not you,
who lust for blood tonight, my blood.
Bloodthirsty sheep? Lion-apes? Always?
Tiger’s fire is sheep’s death.
Thy blood my brother bought death for me;
Thy blood ‘cries out’ to them ‘from the soil’
brings vengeance, seven fold,
Insane at night, sane at dawn.
No, Caesar never cried ‘Et tu Brute’,
nor I ‘Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis’.
©2017 Rajnish Mishra
Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezine, a poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https://poetrypoeticspleasure.wordpress.com.