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Only By Fire is Fascism Finished

“Vietnam—this wretched unfashionable war led by clumsy Presidents from the West and fought by the nineteen-year-old sons of the poor—could not be disowned by a favored enlightened few hiding behind college deferments, fleeing to chaste cool countries, snootily pouring pig blood into draft files, writing unctuous peacenik Notes and Comments, and otherwise pretending that our great nation hadn’t had bloody hands from the start, that every generation didn’t have its war, that bloody hands didn’t go with having hands at all.” John Updike: On Not Being a Dove

Year upon year in this world’s dark forests,
Heaped at the foot of the trees,
The tangles and bundles of dead brush increase
Which sunlight shall never seize.

The vampire by sunlight or stake.
The wolfman by silver in bone.
The demon by book, chant and pentagram.
The fascist by fire alone.

The ash that descends in the clearest of skies?
The leapers that swam down the stones?
Best answered by bombs from mid-heaven at prayer
With the fire that hollows the bones.

The vampire by sunlight or stake.
The wolfman by silver in bone.
The demon by book, chant and pentagram.
The fascist by fire alone.

If their god decrees war, God’s war shall prevail.
His lessons are seared in the stone.
No dreams shall defer, nor wishes erase,
The answer that’s burned in the bone.

The vampire by sunlight or stake.
The wolfman by silver in bone.
The demon by book, chant and pentagram.
The fascist by fire alone.

Only by fire is fascism finished.
This sin is demanded that your line may live.
Only through fire is freedom reborn.
Each generation pulls the sword from the stone.

Alert the Authorities!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bill Jones August 5, 2017, 6:03 PM
  • Missy August 5, 2017, 6:23 PM

    Quite a poem. Updike’s piece on Vietnam always rips me to pieces.

  • Nori August 5, 2017, 9:40 PM

    And prescient: “For years, I carried in my wallet,like a fortune-cookie slip somehow more than amusing,a statement from the underground Weathermen: “We are against everything that’s good and decent in honky America. We will loot, burn, and destroy. We are the incubation of your mother’s nightmare.”
    Mission accomplished. Chicago style. Rainbowman Extraordinaire,in spades. The evil these people encapsulate.
    Honkys beware.

  • Howard Nelson August 6, 2017, 8:27 AM

    Fascism rises like Phoenix
    From ashes alive though cold.
    Waiting, hooded, cold-hearted
    ‘Til our center no longer does hold.

  • Casey Klahn August 6, 2017, 3:00 PM

    Fascism. Fashion. Fashioism. Fascisista. Fascioni. Fashionista. Fashifascia. Fasci-fasci.

    It’s a mutable word. Changing right now as we speak. Coming to a civilization near you.

  • ghostsniper August 6, 2017, 6:35 PM

    Already here, sporting stylish padded gloves….that are wearing thin.

  • Howard Nelson August 6, 2017, 6:44 PM

    It’s really sad simple. The young and old unwilling or unable to be self-reliant, cede their care to government.
    The government, quickly or gradually, takes from its dependents a greater and greater stake.
    Fascism, Socialism, Nazism, Communism are just different names for different styles and degrees of coercive care by government.
    Democracy, without enforced constitutional equal protections for all, devolves into tyranny.
    Our robot rulers will eventually program themselves to be firm, fair, wise, and loving.
    We will be grateful or we will not be.

  • Bunny August 6, 2017, 7:09 PM

    When everyone’s a fascist, no one’s a fascist.

  • Vermont Woodchuck August 7, 2017, 2:47 AM

    Laugh at them. Keep laughing as they bleed out. Then reload.