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The Ring of the Welkin

In memoriam Max Azzarello


“Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood.

Amaze the welkin with your broken staves.”

—Shakespeare, Richard III

"Make the welkin ring!"

—R. S. Surtees, Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour (1853)


Old dogs, and bitches, too, with cataracts for eyes, steer the fratricidal masses

from sites appointed to anoint these humbug-sucking asses—

DC's Oval Office, Mar-a-Lago, the Forbidden City, Band des Bundes, Palais de l’Élysée,

Pradhānamantrī Kāryālaya, 10 Downing Street, dog-towered Kremlin, Naikaku Sōri Daijin Kantei—

dicing the present doom of Planet Earth.

They’ll be dead soon—and, if we leave it up to them, so'll we,

our children, our children’s children too,

and every last elephant, whale, and honeybee.

You know this just as well as I do—for what it’s worth.

Do not succumb to Fortune's unbecoming dumb-ass fun.

You needs must change your lives.

Get wiser now, and quickly, everyone!

But given that you’ll unlikely from your sport desist,

best look forward to—so fate would argue—ceasing to exist.

It won’t be that bad; in fact, it won't be anything:

The moon'll still sit there

amid the sparkling satellites and sing

on many a silent night all unaware

of the mazèd welkin’s interrupted ring.


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