Phan Thanh gian
Man-Eaters - Poem by Phan Thanh gian
Let's talk about the cannibals:
Not the naked ones with colourful wigs,
Who eat and drink the human flesh and blood
Not the ones we learned in textbooks
Whose tales you heard from far away land
In the deepest of south-east-asian jungles
Such exotic, barbaric acts are so trivial
Benign and confined to a few old tribes
Wouldn't even measure up to more sordid types
I'm talking about the man-eaters living closeby,
Who reside in the grandest of mansions,
Nestled among the greatest of nations
They read the finest books,
Extol the most virtuous ideals
And drink the best of champagne.
Regarded by most with reverence
Accolades, decorum surround, abound
Smartest of tongues, sharpest of suits
Although members of the same species
They are set apart from the masses,
Carry themselves as higher breeds... godlike.
Yet their fields are covered in mournful white,
The colour of the littered human bones.
Their dark driveways: paved with rotten flesh
They consume their fellow man's dreams,
Siphon livelihood from unfortunate souls
Engorge themselves on children's laborous toils
Purveyors of man, butcher of kind
Endearing appearance, yet heart of swine
Always up to old tricks, with few new fixes.
A nod, a wink, a stroke of black ink
Hundreds would perish, thousands vanish
Many more families would wither in slums.
The reasons for such willful barbaric acts
To torture, enslave and kill - to name a few
For progress, ideology and personal fortune.
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