Home > Uncategorized > Avetik Issahakian: Eternal fabricators of war, erecting pyramids with a myriad skulls

Avetik Issahakian: Eternal fabricators of war, erecting pyramids with a myriad skulls

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Avetik Issahakian (Isahakyan)
From Abou Ala al-Mahari/Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (1909)
Translated by Mischa Kudian

“I hate and abhor with vehemence,
I hate both justice and law:
Men oppress with their abominable justice,
Crush and slaughter with their vile laws.

“With sevenfold hatred, indeed, do I loathe
authority, which swallows up generations,
Greedy usurers, voracious parasites,
eternal fabricators of wars.

“It is the great executioner and the great brigand
of past centuries and of centuries to come.
The path it has trodden is all crime and massacre,
the vengeful band, aborting terror.

“It sits upon my bosom like a monster,
its terrible fist pressing upon my brow,
And at every step I take, it chains me up,
and padlocks my tongue and my thoughts.

“It has always crushed our shoulders
and reached everywhere, squashing man;
And in the stern name of justice, it has
erected pyramids with a myriad skulls.

“And authority is everything:
justice, law and right.
It is conscience itself, and evil, and good;
whereas you are mere dust, a nonentity.

“I curse authority, that raving
hyena with a thousand claws;
Its every step is a wine-press of blood
in which it squeezes the old and the infants.

“Impotent people, slaves and cowards, who put
swords into the hands of you and your kind?
Who gave you the right of vengeance,
to dominate and to slaughter your fellow beings?

“Take me away, caravan, hand me to the vipers,
bury my miserable heart under the sands;
Carry me away, rescue me from authority,
rescue me from its ferocious protection!”

The violent lightnings with fiery swords
tore to shreds the mass of clouds,
And rapidly crumbled upon the white
manes of the distant mountains.

And the storms bellowed away, the palm
and the cypress rustled and rattled;
And the caravan, destroying bridges,
galloped headlong into the distance.

It galloped and flew, tinkling away,
covering the road with clouds of dust,
As if fleeing from the vengeful fist
of wicked authority, out of its reach.

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