A Fictive Guild – A Poem

When hunger drafts its last foreboding claim;
And those who tarried long, give up their shame;
No place they’d found in lands where they were born;
Short was their stay, and then the veil was torn.

What lies beyond? That is the great inquest;
Will they be cursed, or for their pain be bless’d?
Condemned to hell for they did not believe;
Or will a gracious God grant them reprieve?

The ‘Great Escape’, tis not an earthly feat;
Nair prince or pauper death, they cannot cheat;
Respite to find, they must seek Canaan’s shore;
Resign terrestrial woes, and row no more.

Is purpose found by learning how to live?
“To work and keep”, lest God does not forgive;
Or p’haps Elysium’s path only to seek?
That tortured way revealed most to the weak.

To suffer now, or later? A fool’s choice;
Taken for to rob us of our voice;
The strong will not arrive to Peter’s gate;
So bend your knee, and to us now prostrate.

Both now, and then, the wise they choose to fight;
For freedom, joy and wealth at end of night;
To build the buildings, write the stories – live;
To future hungry some respite to give.

For if we hide, those who destroy with hate;
Enact their will, a’while we speculate;
Build castles in our minds, a fictive guild.
While world is ruined by who cannot build.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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