Because We Can

Dead is the killer, the headlines roar,

Gone is the scourge of the West.

But the age is young, and breeds anew

A second monster to detest.

These things occur

Because they can.

When sunshine covers half the earth,

In multiple degrees of shade

The dark is ever-present too.

The dark can never be gainsaid.

Priests and parents abuse their trust,

Officials abuse their authority,

Celebrities trash hotel suites

And louts descend to criminality.

These things they do

Because they can.

Corporations lie and cheat,

Exploiting poor and sorry souls.

Governments too spin grubby tales,

Governing only for the polls.

These things they do

Because they can.

Nations, moved by fear, neglect their own

And neglect their peers, or worse -

Discriminate, subvert, deceive,

Inflict atrocities, bully and coerce.

These things they do

Because they can.

How is this so? The rebellious will,

Capacity and capability align:

The loaded gun, the empty room,

The present victim, the intent malign.

These things we do

Because we can.

No creature is at all exempt:

In a worldwide web we’re caught.

I too deny my fellow man,

Self-indulge, slander and distort.

These things I do

Because I can.

Then can we blame the universe, or gods?

Mere opportunity, it seems, creates a crime,

As a gas expands, given space,

And as work expands, given time.

These things they do

Because they can.

There is a law, it seems:

If something can occur, it will.

Capacity breeds capability,

Which in turn gives birth to will.

Do things occur inevitably

Because they can?

The living, breathing universe

Must fill its lungs or die.

So must we fill the void with choice:

The challenge demands reply.

This we do

Because we can.

To protect us all, it’s said,

Our masters (all-wise) legislate

And forbid their subjects choice;

But choose we must, it is our fate.

This they do

Because they can.

The majesty of life is such

That other ways abound.

Within this balanced world

This is where humanity is found.

A man stands up for what is right.

They mock and nail him to a tree,

But he forgives to prove his point:

To show there is another way.

This he does

Because he can.

Another – Prospero - torn from his home

And exiled most cruelly

Subdues the tempest of his soul

And sets his enemies free.

This he does

Because he can.

And I? I too must be kind and true

And subdue my inner Caliban,

Making each action demonstrate

The inner muscularity of man.

These things I’ll do

Because I can.