March 22, 2012

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The Boys From Sparta

Someone selling Shakespeare
To a rich man on the phone
I saw it all on cable
Sitting all alone

But something inside me came alive
That I hadn’t felt in years
And I chose to defend it
And ignore my deeper fears

When I left home for Babylon
I told my wife not to cry
Said I had to do this
Even if I had to die

The Tigris and Euphrates
Make a crescent in this land
And the call to prayer rings high and clear
As we march across the sand

I saw no hanging gardens
No bulls with great stone wings
We were weighed in the balance
Just like an ancient king

I could see a finger writing
Strange words upon the wall
And I knew our days were numbered
And I knew we had to fall

Back home the women are driving ‘round
With stickers on their cars
And the men are wearing bracelets
Just to prove how strong they are

While their children all play video games
And they always shoot to kill
They get such a shot of pleasure
From the way the blood does spill

And all the boys from Sparta
Know things that you don’t know
They do what you won’t do
They go where you won’t go

Somewhere in the country
A grizzly looks for food
She looks down by the river
She can sense that there is blood

A caribou tries to limp away
Then turns around to fight
She makes a noble effort
But she will not win this night

And somewhere in the city
A man goes for a walk
He’s looking for some action
He don’t like to talk

He searches for the weak ones
The crippled and the lame
Their stories do not matter
To him they’re all the same

And further on the first mate
The captain and his crew
Gather ‘round the TV
To see what them Spartans do

And the people start to gather
Cheering in the streets
Revenge will have its measure
Vengeance never retreats

Now some people don’t like fighting
And they turn the other cheek
Say God confounds the mighty
Jesus rewards the meek

And others try to walk away
From any sign of strife
They will not risk their comfort
They will not risk their life

And out there in the Evening Land
The fiddler begins to dance
His feet are light and nimble
He never sleeps and he will never die

© Christopher McNeely, 2012

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