Ethos, Logos, Pathos Poem by Gary Witt

Ethos, Logos, Pathos

Rating: 4.1

Bricks heaped upon lumber,
Laid upon lungs to extricate
Evil from thoughts perceived
To have turned from God.
And innocence dissolved
By the corrosive conspiracy
Of faith, fear, force,
And (unindicted) complacency:
A combining that continues
Amid the pumping of traffic
The cooing and cawing of birds
The whisper of leaves and litter
The giggle and squeal of adolescent love,
The time-lapse lines at kiosks.
Breathing in. Breathing out.

He ponders and sees:

Bhurkhas tailored into long,
Black trenchcoats.
A murder of crows
Clogs the aisles passing furtive notes
To primping senators, while
Conniving Power forces its will
Upon any frailty;
A corporate, political,
And theological game
Of hide the ball, or
Straight arm keep-away.

He ponders and sees:

Ignominious intentions masquerading as pure,
Behind a façade of judicial rectitude,
Where Argument’s validity is precisely measured,
In decibels;
Where the quality and expense
Of a purchased wig, a rented robe,
Are thought to be in direct proportion
To the correctness of one’s judgment.
Trappings become prerequisites,
Jargon becomes validation,
Sound bites serve as syllogism:
If it don’t fit you must acquit;
If you don’t tell, you cannot sell.
Analytics be damned;
Feigned, manufactured confusion,
The route to acquittal,
Is revered above innocence,
And Innocence—who dares not sue—is slandered
For a variable, but mostly diminishing, rate of return.

He ponders and sees:

Unrepentant iniquity is blessed
By clerics who medicate
The world’s chemical imbalance
With hateful words on one side,
And meaningless gestures on the other,
Reducing lord to a verb,
And the faithful to its object;
Condemning those who seek to understand—
Men of science and other incompetents.
Condemn them, Father,
For they know not what they do;
While the natural world, mildly
Sedated, walks with wobbling determination
Down a shifting, shaky path.

Sean North 02 May 2007


0 1 Reply

Another winning poem from a winning poet, Gary! I love the alliteration in this poem...and, yes, the Truth.

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Louise Deutsch 06 August 2009

Mr. Witt - I must say that I enjoyed your poem quite a bit. I think that your content was interesting and your language and syntax fully at your command. In addition, this poem brings to mind memories of certain friends who would probably love your work. Thanks, L

1 2 Reply
Tsira Goge 12 April 2008

'With hateful words on one side, And meaningless gestures on the other...' This poems is read very interestingly, strong dynamics! It is easier to live the majority with double standards, unfortunately so... Thank you Gary. Kindest regards, Tsira

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Scarlett Treat 16 May 2007

Uhhhhha, what Jim Hogg said...wonderful in content, and ability. HE PONDERS AND HE SEES. This one will take me several reads to ponder and see, but it will be well worth coming back to time and again.

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Not a member No 4 03 May 2007

I think I've been wreaking havoc below in a comment that 'reeked' of carelessness in word choice! ! Ye gods! ! Apologies! ! jim PS And if there are other blunders, well... I should re-read I know! !

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Not a member No 4 03 May 2007

I'm with the fire here Gary. I like your furious napalming, and the coruscating idealism that underlies and fuels it. I don't agree with your politics entirely - though we're not too far apart - but I'm encouraged, inspired and impassioned by your commitment to your position. It's dangerously contagious. A major plus point in my view. There is far too little of this fierce belief in the various aspects of a non violent approach to justice, and a serious absence of determination or the confidence to express it. Auden's eloquently languid and detached declamations were all very well, but wreaked heavily of hopelessness, of withdrawal from the battle for a better world, and therefore don't provide the motive fuel that inspires change directed activism. So much for poetry without meaning! ! So much for the absence of authorial intent! ! This is agenda poetry Gary and is none the worse for that, nay, it's better for it in my book. But the writing itself? Matches the emotion of the content: strong, sharp edged, direct, with much muscular language and snarling, aggressive and dismissive imagery as is appropriate given the subject matter. Sarcasm and bitter irony are used poetically, plus resort here and there to a savage stylishness give it real character and readability. An excess of multisyllabics, which can squeeze the life out of a poem, is very hard to avoid in this kind of work but this isn't overladen with them in my view. I like this a great deal in terms of both content and poetics. A very fine incendiary poem. jim

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