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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


by Chas Holden

The bag of coins feels a burden
cumbersome and conspicuous
under his white senatorial robes
as he slinks through
moon-shadowed side streets

Yet it had seemed light
a trifle in the Swordsmith’s
war-torn arms when
scarred hands passed
stuffed purse secretly
under the anvil in his shop

This night his mind doesn't turn to justifications--just keeping us
both in business--doesn’t tell himself that he had to sell his vote
on the war in order to afford the votes supporting his seat.
Nor does he seek refuge in the recollection of his constituents:
the peasants’ paean and joyous shouts spring from unwashed masses
when he showers them with sanguinary silver, gory gold
like a grand general’s triumphant march back from barbaric frontier.

his thoughts are fixed
on one observation:
the weight of wealth
and how the bribe
bows him like a beggar
as he retreats to his villa

Chas Holden is a freelance writer/photographer, struggling poet/grad-student, and former practitioner of journalism--his words and images have appeared in newspapers around WV and PA. Today, he is a disciple of poetry as a more potent way to disseminate discovered truths. Recently his work has been featured on the Poets for Living Waters website and in 5x5, a journal of concise poetry.