Glory – The brutes do not admire each other. A horse does not admire his companion. Not that there is no rivalry between them in a race, but that is of no consequence; for, when in the stable, the heaviest and most ill-formed does not give up his oats to another, as men would have others do to them. Their virtue is satisfied with itself.
                                                            – Pascal, Pensees, 401

One brother took up law; the other trooped
Away to endless war. I stayed home
As a bureaucratic bean-counter, duped

To think that riches played an easy game:
Addition, multiplication – each cooks
The books for future fortunes. All the same,

With squared-off cubits, office duty yokes
Existence to these ledger lines that spill
With columned figures. Fortune’s spinning spokes

Subtract from time, divide with iron will
What irony remainders. Would my years
Be sown in furrowed wax my styli till?

“There’s glory,” Primus said, “in foreign tours
Of duty.” So Secundus sought the heights
Of politics. But Tertius now secures

Them both in one: I poll these client states,
Reconquering for Rome. Hand-picked to lead
The census here in Palestine, I set my sights

On taxing tails for piles of Caesar’s head –
This skin game they’re calling his “Golden Fleece.”
(And who has time to calculate the dead

When the living offer glory’s increase?)
“The catgut of the state,” said Cicero
Describing taxes. Let that be the case –

To string and peg fame’s fingerboard just so.


  1. Big Jon Bully says

    Great poem. Merry Christmas.

  2. Big Jon Bully says

  3. Louise Orrock says

    Happy New Year.

  4. In my opinion, the animals know what humans find attractive.

  5. Big Jon Bully says

    Thanks, “Louise”.

  6. Did the Kollektiv make it through the new year? I’m getting worried….

    • Quin Finnegan says

      Thanks, IC …

      I think the Kollektiv is okay. There have been Christmas cards exchanged, emails and texts as well, so I think we’re okay.

      And there will hopefully be some more JOB poems on the way before too long. Maybe some doggerel.

      I posted a little lolly-blogging, inspired by your comment.

      The Korrektiv will never fall in its kollektiv sword, but we may have a terminal lack of enthusiasm here.

      Long live Das Korrektiv!

    • Yes, we’re still here. I have been trying to find time to finish this cycle – at least in time for next Advent… But been rather busy after getting the can at the diocese…

      Best wishes for a new year, IC (and the rest of you proud, few Korrektiv Readers!)


    • Big Jon Bully says

      Yes it is not dead, even I’m planning a post in the next couple of weeks.

      Thanks for asking, you’re awesome.

  7. 🙂

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