The Funfair of the Damned, by Chris Mann

The flags of every land on earth
are fluttering on the poles
where Mephistopheles has come
to gamble for men’s souls.

He waves a wad of bills and smiles
and spins his ivory dice,
‘Roll up!’ he says, ‘I know each land,
each business has its price!’

The placards at the car park gate
are being pushed aside,
the premiers of the poorest lands
can’t wait to get inside.

So caucus in the conference halls,
vote for the Promised Land,
help MegaMammonWorld transform
the funfair of the damned.

The horses of Apocalypse
snort carbon in the sky,
a coal man on the golf-course says,
‘Tree-hugger talk’s a lie.’

Dead frogs and methane in the reeds
adorn the leisure lake
where front men for an oil cartel
sign up a smiling sheik.

But bank magicians by the pool
are tweeting on their phones,
repaying what’s owed Mother Earth
by funding loans with loans.

Be hip and hop with Nero’s band
that’s rocking on the stand,
help MegaMammonWorld transform
the funfair of the damned.

It’s poker, power and politics
inside the weapons tent,
each chip’s a billion dollar deal,
each war a cash event.

The game is Armaments for Peace,
the tactic’s keep things tense,
sell cheaper, deadlier nukes to thrill
Departments of Defence.

But you and me and everyone
and no one is to blame
when nothing’s sacred on the earth
except the money game.

So caucus now to make the earth
a green and sunny land,
help MegaMammonWorld transform
the funfair of the damned.

The air is hot and moist inside
the VIP’s marquee,
where banks and presidents cut deals
below the Judas tree.

The cash-flows shoot as fast as thoughts
around the global mall,
and boom and bust the businesses
inside the Banking Hall.

But marketing and hi-tech firms
are working double shifts,
to fix the heat-wave in the mall,
the air cons in the lifts.

So cash your carbon credits in
and buy a solar brand,
help MegaMammonWorld transform
the funfair of the damned.

When Mephistopheles has bought
the last soul in the bar,
when acid eats the funfair flags
and rain steams off the tar,

When Lazarus the janitor
has put away his broom
and limped off coughing to the hills
and climbed back in his tomb,

The prophets at the gate will wake
to septic lungs at dawn,
and lift their limp placards and say,
‘What could we do but warn?’

‘Cos no one stops the rock ‘n roll
when money owns the band
and Mephistopheles puts on
the funfair of the damned.

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