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An Ode To The Passing Of A Champion
SJM ( / )

An Ode To The Passing Of A Champion

There lies the body cold and wet
Left by the survivors less we forget
A shadow of what was and would never be again
The reminder that greatness is a fickle thing.

Once proud the emperor stood amongst others
Warriors, sisters, brothers
But most have passed this way
To be buried or cast away.

This one for which we morn
Was once a paragon of virtue and strong
But with the passage of time
The body diminished from its prime.

Dead, maybe not quite, some say the pulse remains
Feeble it is, as the soul sustains.
The body, lifeless as the candle glows weak
The phase whereby recovery is not to be.

Look to the eyes that no longer see
The crows have fed again
Picking at the soft tissues as they destroy
Avoiding that which is difficult as they wait.

Like the Indians who saw the tongue and liver as the only
Tissues that were easy to digest
And so tore them away from the beast
As they awaited the self destruction of the muscle and sinew
To make the feast more palatable to their remaining few.

But now we view the body on the marble slab
Growing cold as the heat of emotions ebb away
Soon there will be nothing to remember of this one that was great
A mass that once assembled had a forceful sway,
But not today.

The pallbearers, either honorary or not
Doing the unpleasant task, stand together.
There Poe, Mencken, Royall, Brann and a host of others
Bow their heads as the great one has passed.
They remove their head coverings in respect
Knowing that never will there be another to replace this one
That once stood proud champion of liberty
(And yes well written prose.)
The sisters that remain are weak and pale
Propped up with a false sense of security
But knowing that they also will face this same fate
Only a matter of time before they also will feel
The blade which severs the body from the head.

Some remember when the vanquished stood proud
Full size and strong, but then in a moment of weakness
Became a shrunken one,
Suffering the circumstances of time that
Shrinks the spine and causes a curvature
From which recovery is impossible.

So we await the final extinguishing of the flame
As the Journal's pages no longer contain
The essence of life that freedom impressed
On the paper with ink that could not be suppressed.

(On the shrinking of the Wall Street Journal as it lays cold and wet on the marble steps of Baltimore.)


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Comments (1)

Clever presentation of the demise of one of your Country's 'unbreakable' statues. From broadsheet, to tabloid, to impending (internet) oblivion... As an outsider looking in, I believe (and no doubt you will correct me if I'm wrong) that the USA lost true freedom of speech many years ago, and the shrinking of this journal merely echoes that fact. The rest will undoubtedly follow... I also think you could also use these wise metaphors equally to the demise of so-called leaders; from great orators, to blusterers, to committee puppets. Such is the way of the world, in the weak guise of progress. History will be the ultimate judge, but, for my money, you are spot on. jack.