A society of phony sophistication and artifice—
that’s the Hesperides
of the fortunate—an oasis
in the misery that surrounds it:
In the king’s house,
a ladder climbing to the rainbow
is planted in the gutter;
in the priest’s house,
up and down go the pale, smooth legs;
an iron hand gloved in silk,
muddy feet shod in gold;
a niche, bright and flowery,
guards skull and skeleton;
eyes and mouth electrical
dominate the earth and sky;
but in the Tower of Babel
of one who flees from himself,
there is a new Sanhedrin,
the judge himself—the perfect criminal.
This social set is given to drunkenness,
blood is the wine of its amusement.
Ah, this is Society,
a fig tree whose root is rotted;
silver is the skin
of the tiny mullet,
with progress learned from the crab,
with the watchfulness of the blind;
a golden watch in the bracelet
does not tell the time of the vanished nights and days;
these humans are drunk under their glittering facades,
unaware of their soul’s gaping wounds;
seduced by the fanfare proclaiming
their supreme condition,
they are deaf to the sobs and cries
of the hungry, the victims;
they indulge in flights to the clouds,
but are unable to read the handwriting—
the hands of lightning
pointing to the last hour!