The War of All Against All

The gelid night hath come: starless runes
Evanescing amidst the waning of the sepulcher,

Ruthless concrete maws beneath the sea of lovelorn
Rains; the thunder of the brutal charger, unwept the

Groaning cannibal, diluvian hordes whereon the
Antichrist reigns. A woman exits a Prada store

Having spent over a quarter of a million dollars in
An hour, the worthless items placed in the trunk of a

Chauffeured car – each bag dripping with the blood
Of ravaged lambs. Chartered minds faltering, sealed

Off from the sacred meadow, thrice drowned the
Word, thrice downed the penitent; the Harlem River

Crouches catlike in its stillness, black glass roaming
Beyond the sands of undrawn time. And beyond

That inimitable mere of green, the primordial hawk
Locked its eyes on wayward man: another book

Burned, a new addict placed in chains. The stock-
Broker, the Nazi doctor, the hoodlum and the knave –

Each cocked and snarling in that empyrean of the
Damned. A lone waif weeps upon the cold wet ground,

Abandoned and forlorn, ignored by passersby who
Crave only for more lucre, the Delphic flame flickering

Into an eye ground down in sorrow. And within those
Stygian bowels of the insensate beast: shattered

Loveless souls, roving without purpose – trapped in
The Devil’s screen were the shades of the anti-human.

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.