Monday Poem

Tiny Megalomaniacs
being good
you take responsibility for everything
and credit for nothing,
otherwise you’re sliding down
the slippery slope at an accelerating clip
until you’re taking credit for everything
and responsibility for zip

just a short slip down that slope
you’ve already sloughed goodness
many times like snake skin
for the sake of some small gain
some little leverage, some edge, some in
elbowing out some less able
contestant in Darwin’s world
to gain what turns out to be
a plot of worthless sand
by means of tiny sins

it’s tough, discernment’s not easy
in the muddle of desire
everything you think you require is righteous
so you turn to gods that fan that fire
you whisper prayers into corners first
then, picking up a head of steam,
you’re bellowing your righteousness from peaks
as your minions mutter lies up and down mean streets
and many bubbles burst

but more often than not you don’t get that far
you settle for a provincial fiefdom
running a big firm or corner bar,
equally worthy jobs
if your heart’s in the right place
and you understand the limits of all
and know you’re in this universe
under an umbrella of chance,
lucky to be small
and know you have just a tiny part
in the making of this
curious dance

by Jim Culleny