these are tees not crosses
The Cursed Field by Fyodor Bronnikov


“Tell me, Roman, why this plan
To execute this convict man ?
Of all the ways to make him dead,
Why hold up high with arms outspread ?
Seeing him now crucified
Just makes a martyr, gives him pride,
It lets the martyr die with pride,
So hero-like, so dignified.”

“But you are wrong.  Now look again:
The loincloth with its urine stain,
The drooling lips, the bloodshot eyes,
The excrement that cakes his thighs.
To hang for days in agony –
Now look again and show to me,
Just look up there and show to me,
The slightest shred of dignity.”

“Ah yes, I see, the lolling head,
And yet…who cares once he is dead ?
And history may not recall
His wails and jerking fits at all.
Despite what we right here may find,
The crowd are of a diff’rent mind –
And what they see within their mind
Is all that you will leave behind.”

“Perhaps you’re right, and time will tell –
But who can say he’s dying well ?
And in three days, he lingers on
For no-one, once the crowd has gone.
Any execution can
Create a martyr from a man –
Yet here, we see he’s
just a man
that is why this Roman plan.”

Bringing Juvenilia Week to a close with a typically iconoclastic poke at religion with some Real Science.  Originally just the first two verses, it lacked the necessary back-and-forth to be the dialogue it wanted to be, so the latter two are new, though just as naff as a homage to the original.

Now, the perfect poem to follow with tomorrow would be this one, but it has already been posted.

One thought on “Witnesses

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