The Bribe

Amid ebbing spells of intense discontent
       and dwindling   but still-recurring swirls
       of delirious visions of changing the world

the brashness
                     and rashness of youth in fine form

the passionate madness  that breeds and feeds
the bulk of late-teenage and young-adult storms
              is quickly diminished and soon outgrown

       as comfort and caution
       follow through on their threats
       to make themselves feel as good as at home

while anger abates in tandem with rage
and rebellion fades   as sure as we age and grow
                     increasingly soft   perhaps even wise

as we lose our quixotic  ill-advised drive
to row against the current  to swim against the tide

as we sense the dissipation  of our raw inclination
       to pay the steep price to fight the good fight
for the sake of doing what our juvenile convictions
had nimbly convinced us  was unequivocally right;

as we feel our will weaken to smash the machine
       and out   the scheming skimming croupier
              as he cuts us in on his secret rake

       at the guilt-ridden
       brimming-with-ambivalence instant
       we succumb to the perks of being on the take.

The essence of acceptance in a world on the slide
giving in to the system  we subscribe to the bribe
as practicality compels us  to develop the stomach
       to sheathe our defiance and swallow our pride

as youth  and its idealistic views  get shitkicked
       battered  with matter-of-fact brutality
              by the bloodied boots of experience
                     and the calloused hands of reality

All grown up  as sure as we've aged
              gone the rebelliousness   gone the rage
— gone   the frequent feverish swirls
              of delusional visions of saving the world.
From his lofty perch near the top of the earth, Korvus observes the whirling world of humans, with equal parts wonder, disgust, and amusement. Korvus is the author of the unpublished book "RED PILL POEMS: The Poetry of Empire, Politics and Power" and may be reached at Read other articles by Korvus.