The Western Socialist
Vol. 33 - No. 249
No. 1, 1966
Shall I give thanks? To Whom? For What?
This Mad Chaotic World, its Schizophrenic Society,
Where Affluence Parades and Struts side by side
The Unmitigated Poverty of Stinking Ghettos;
And holy clerks pour the Slime of their Hypocritical Blessings
Over the Horrendous Fetid Mess?
For this Predatory Economy, this Organization of Status,
Where, over-night, Mere Mediocrity is catapulted
Into the Category of Celebrity.
While Genius, disregarded, molds and withers
In some foul and Darksome Garret,
With Millions passing Blunted and Stunted Lives
In the Grind of the Industrial Mill.
The Flower of a Nation's Youth sent forth to Kill
And be Killed on Battlefields Abroad, That Foreign Markets may be Secured, Spheres of Influence Opened,
And the Sources of Raw Material Assured?
For this rat-race, where the Guiding Principles
Are "Dog Eat Dog," and "'The Devil Take the Hindmost"?
For This "Free Enterprise," this All-Absorbing Commercialism,
Which holds Society in its Fell Grip, and Mankind
Hugs to its Breast and Lauds to The Skies, as Something Holy,
Declaring: "This is the Best of All Possible Human Systems
In this the Best of all Possible Worlds."?
For the Lord of the Universe, HOMO SAPIENS,
Who can Circumscribe this Terrestrial Globe Seven to One
To The Earth's Diurnal Revolution, Yet cannot Purify the Atmosphere he has Poisoned,
Nor Cleanse the Life-giving Waters He has Polluted?
FOR THESE I SHOULD GIVE THANKS? If so, again, TO WHOM?
Yet I am Cognizant of Snow capped Mountain Peaks,
The Cathedral Quietude and Cool-Depths of Forest Grove,
The Verdant Stretches of unspoiled Meadows,
The Flora and Fauna of Earth's Wide Open Spaces,
And the Trilling Songs of Unfettered Birds;
The Crystal Rippling Waters of, as yet Untainted Creeks,
And the Glorious Roaring of the Hills' Cascades.
These I can Enjoy, I can Appreciate. Yet, NO THANKS I GIVE.
I can apprehend "Homo Sapiens," of which I am a Unit,
His Insatiable Curiosity, His Inventive Genius,
His Eternal Restlessness and Constant Probing into the Mysteries
Of the Universe;
His History of Toil, of Blood and Tears, "The Agony and the
Ecstasy" of his Long Development;
The Magnificent Temples to the Gods He, Himself, created
And understand His Fervent Supplications to these Gods of his own
Creation for Deliverance from the Hells of His Own Manufacture;
His Positive Accomplishment; His Language, Literature, Music,
Sculpture, Paintings, and the Multifarious Arts and Sciences
He Has Developed.
These, too, I can Enjoy, I can Appreciate.
I do NOT Stand Unmoved when listening to the Mighty Strophes
Of a Beethoven Symphony, the Thumping Majesty of a Bach Chorale
The Melodies of a Monteverdi Madrigal, or the Harmonic Tapestries of a Vivaldi Concerto.
These, with Man's GREAT Literature, His Many Arts,
I can Turn to Account for my own Material and Emotional Satisfaction.
For Despite the Chaos and Confusion, the Bestial Exploitation
Of this Modern World and Its Madness, There Abides BEAUTY in Color and in Form.
Appreciating, withal, the Beauty of This Earth,
Man's Instinct of Workmanship, His Creative Powers,
And His Vast Artistic Works, still, NO THANKS I GIVE.
But Appreciating ALL THIS, to a much Greater Degree I Appreciate the Companionship of COMRADES IN REVOLT.
And Yet, NOT GIVING THANKS, I Appreciate, Above All Else.
A Friend and Comrade Such As YOU
W. A. PRITCHARD