A Parable of Austerity

Posted on July 21, 2015 in New Poems

Colin Turnbull’s
Mountain People (the Ik
of northern Uganda)

responded to the drought that killed their cattle
by abandoning their aged
in the bush to be eaten by animals.

Would Schäuble accept this from the Greeks
as pension reform? Would he require,
the youth having no prospect of work,

the aged should herd the ghosts
two more years
before being left to their luck?

Would Schäuble
reckon the whole caboodle
a means of evading the cattle tax?

– for the Ik had always been nomadic
crossing economic borders, till the wankers
fenced their lands as a game park,

& they responded to what destroyed their herds
by abandoning their aged
to be eaten by bankers.