“Work was invented as a curse
“Placed upon man by God.”
So said Homer’s contemporary,
The farmer and poet Hesiod.

He said that it was “never possible
“To trick the mind of Zeus.”
His words were uttered in 700 BC
And his spirit is still on the loose.

“Happy is the man whom the muses love
“Sweet speech flows from his mouth.”
“Giving is good,” he said, “but taking…
“Taking is bad and brings death.”

Nearly three thousand years ago Hesiod
Gave the future an accurate scan:
“Often an entire city can suffer,” he said,
“Because of one evil man.”

A cruel Premier terror-bombs Dresden;
A crass President sees Fallujah fall.
The one thing we learn from history
Is that we don’t learn from it at all.


Heathcote Williams



By Heathcote Williams

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