there was one who invented a machine
he called it Dread Necessity
others called it War

the Machine was elegant, honed and keen
so well did it work that hymns were written
for it and tithes laid at its feet

Dread Necessity worked very well
it was a Machine that once begun
could not be turned off
and where there was neither
dread nor necessity it made them

despite the pious priests’ hymns
and redoubled offerings
and the devotion of the people
the Machine ate them whole
without distinction

when all others were gone it ate its creator

alone and solitary
Dread Necessity churned its gears
with pleasure

there was no enemy
there was no one

all were safe from risk
all were dead