Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, April 10, 2014


by David Chorlton

Foretelling the future is a madman’s work.
When wild-haired wanderers
drifted in from the desert
with sand in their eyes and fire in every word
they’d at least attract a crowd
before everyone went on with whatever they’d been doing.

Harbingers of doom were ten a penny.
Only the most emaciated
attracted attention, and drew a little pity
while they brought down the heavens,
burned crops, and opened the floodgates
to a cataclysm so severe
even the locusts went hungry.
It’s a hard profession

to keep up now so many amateurs
are clouding the waters with doubt
and denial. The romance of attributing
disasters to the gods
is long gone, and it’s hard to spend all day
in the marketplace

laying blame and pointing fingers
and telling everyone to mend their reckless ways;
oh it just becomes
a kind of punishment to tell the truth,
it’s like having bad breath, it’s
a curse, it’s no way
to get elected, it’s spoiling the party, it’s
everyone’s last chance.

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