I see the planet as successfully overpopulated, with capitalism accelerating the mining of all wealth from the biosphere. In short, I think we’re dying soon unless we change. Ezra Pound’s Canto on usury gave me the Biblical rhythm for this poem. He was mad but dead serious. I’m half mad and a comic, but not about this. My best friend, an oilman in Australia, saw it as a Pope or Rabelais satire. It’s not.



With Capital no man shall build his own house

neither pounding logs nor piling stone

or hand-baked bricks

with Capital

city bank shall have houses built

in advance to be offered

to farmers starved from their properties

by Capital

a once family now trapped in

glass tombstones

screens staring phones urgent

to urge online strangers to borrow

long-term to be happy again

or soon

living in the bank’s house

awarding each other gifts

earning rewards

With Capital

no mother shall watch her child grow

no father catch his son’s attention

feared new world viewed in a tiny screen

kittens and hired faces smiling

lying like celebrities

with Capital cheap strangers may be

hired to teach one’s children

guard house weed garden wash car

walk dog watching the alien children grow

more costly strangers hired to fix bad skin

teeth fatigue obesity depression

universal insomnia

cement the marriage

reduce the smell of fear that is everywhere


The richest fret that

the mob shall march and take their wealth

the poor fear missing their sole chance

to hit the jackpot of well-guessed investment

to join the unhappy rich

the Bible says God bless the child

that’s got his own capital

the rich get richer as naturally as

noxious gasses float

What have they done to the sky?

 the deserted poor from oil-rich lands

bake in a man-made desert

with Capital


the true religion

Hydra-headed metastasises

bombed capital cities

discord a concerto of pain

and in rubble

children cover their ears


another rhino down

the final one priceless

with Capital

abundance makes waste

scarcity profit

the last wild tiger burning bright

in the poacher’s night vision

its golden bones to be ground

with fingernail horn to Asian Viagra

that does not work

the shot elephant



her small tusks sawn off

already sold to a country

to carve into

tiny white elephants

lacy balls within balls within balls

hand carved so rare so not cheap

With Capital

in this country not for old men

unless running it capital

capitol of the world

the public may now view


jabbering behind bars

masturbating and flinging feces

while in dead streets

the pistol-toting fearful

shall pound their steering wheels

horns locked in panic of arriving

ten minutes late

to the battleground they hate

whose CEO on your salary

times two hundred

shall always hold the trump card

those murderous words

downsize offshore takeover automate

restructure all lives


those with no food

have time to cook

meals stealing time is money

leading to family fights

the fat graze on fat

replacement food plastic-forked from

plastic emptied at a gulp tossed

into the ocean as the whole sky dims with heat

Attention shoppers!

toddlers shall be wheeled to save time

pointing to comfort items in plastic

that later fill the stomachs of whales and turtles

who sailed the seas before Capital

the genius of Capital a formula

any child could master

for grinding Nature into—not gold

but invisible vibrations of data

shifting from country to country

to avoid sharing


rain-forests melt into meat and soon

it will be too hot for corn or wheat

with capital

why all this useless beauty?

nobody shall kneel

to sniff the blue iris nor pull down

a lilac bough with a smile

smiles being for public show of

fake teeth half-turned

fake breasts to symbolise joy

accompanied by what passes for music

cued laughter recorded from the long-time dead

without Capital time could be time not money

classical music return

the old songs but now

teen blondes with three chords

and Auto tune sing their diary entries

whining that their love-life sucks

backed by a screen of fast-shifting fantasy

images to keep the bored awake

unsmiling muscled men in gold chains

bark doggerel

from their deep culture of complaint

that the lucky losers of a tribal war

were shipped from death row

in a Nigerian prison to

the richest country on Earth

to work by law for room and board

they no longer receive

nor reparations

Nigeria and the rest of the

motherland dying

parched countries to which

no traveller returns

hear the amplified thud of dirt on melody’s coffin

Capital running the show

stay untuned we shall return

after this message

with Capital.

© SimonLeigh 2023
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I wish you had brought a bit of the comic in you into this long and difficult piece. It’s much too heavy and esoteric.

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