Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Clap Your Hands for Herod"

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry indicated Monday that he supported allowing teachers and administrators to carry concealed handguns in response to the Connecticut school massacre that left 20 children dead.

Local school districts should decide their own policies, Perry said. But if someone has obtained a concealed-handgun license, he said, “you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state.” He clarified that private property owners should be allowed to impose their own restrictions.

little children in our shifts
long since washed clean
of bloodstains
have gathered together
as we were instructed
and are making ready to greet King Herod

For us the massacred innocents
a special place was kept in heaven
Here there are woods
full of undergrowth and game
and grey caves we may creep into

We the smallest of the dead
once believed in our ignorance
that King Herod
was a wicked man
who had us killed
from mere brutality and lack of heart
But we were told:
Look at the woods you are living in
even the smallest song-birds
snap up insects coloured like the rainbow
to be fattened
for the wild cat's jaws
little snakes swallow mice
big ones rabbits and hares
and when the wolf that devours the sheep
falls sick he is torn to pieces by his brothers
And so it is with the plants and flowers
one strangles another's growth
seizes its piece of earth
and share of the sun

Worse by far
is it among human beings
who besides animal malice
have hatred one for another
and the cunning
to perfect their power to kill

These things they said to us
and we pale-faced little angels
gulping in terror
cowered closer to the tree-roots
and gave thanks
that here in these woods thirsting for blood
we were not really alive
and they went on:
There is no love among men
nor in the world of the living
But King Herod
loved above all else
you little mortals white as the lamb
and therefore freed you from life
that you might be spared
its limitless horrors
Be grateful to your deliverer
and if he comes among you
greet him with clapping and song

And there were among us some
who at that moment cried out
that in life there is love
their palms kept the memory of it
and that King Herod
was a foul murderer
who ought to be quartered
with a butcher's axe
and his parts
thrown to the wild beasts
but others of us
stopped their mouths
for we were full of joy
and gratitude towards the king
and we wept
fears of remorse for the lies and slander
in which we had come to believe
and we lifted up translucent hands
in thanksgiving for the truth shown to us
and we are gathered here for the last time
around the sacrificial altar
preparing to sing praise
and waiting to clap our hands
for Herod

who is coming to kill us once again

--Josef Hanzlik, tr. Ian Milner

1 comment:

  1. The Republican Party is on a race to the bottom, essentially nothing is too depraved for them to not get into a contest with each other to see who can outdo it. I expect them to start shooting childhood immunization workers any time now. If anyone wants to know how the two parties aren't the same, this is it.

    The Republicans have to go for the wackjob vote because they've got to get people who will be too stupid to vote for their own interests while supporting those who feed their paranoia and hate as they rob them. They put the "con" in conservative.