Tillers of Night Soil (First Poem of Second Series)

Truth is too crude for poetry.
Poetry is beauty and passion.
Poetry should soar.

After you discover it, truth is often banal.
Sometimes the search is exciting,
But truth is tethered to the ground.

Oh, I know there are grand discoveries,
That there is grandeur inside the atom and outside the galaxy,
But most truth is humble and inconvenient.

The truths we humans seek to evade are like yippy puppies that bite when you don’t feed them,
And poop on the floor when you ignore them,
While the rich and powerful seek to get the rest of us to clean up the mess.

So those who search for truth and seek to eradicate lies are a lower caste,
Street sweepers and dung cleaners.
They are important only because eventually sickness kills society and not just the poor.

You can tell truth tellers from the charlatans because the truth tellers are dirty, rarely confident, and never proud.
Their probabilistic claims can’t win black and white media wars.
Their methods are bad for sales.

Truth is a little bird that grasps for breath when it is caught,
Too fragile to survive against greed, ideology, and lies.
Truth is Un-American and bad for business.

That’s why truth seekers get up every two hours to feed their baby birds,
Hoping against all hope they will grow strong enough to fly against the wind.
Not usually to soar like eagles, but mostly to hug the ground like a family of clownish quail.

Today, the tillers of night soil are being shown the door,
They get no grants and grant no mercy for lies.
When they are gone, there will be no regrets,
But lots of shit on the floor.