“Non Loquendo” (a poem)

By now, the whole world has seen the host of appalling videos concerning the gruesome practices of Planned Parenthood. This poem is my response to the scandal. Since the subject matter is immensely important, I felt that brevity was out of the question: this poem had to be in the form of a heroic crown of sonnets (which I have previously done twice, once for St. Valentine’s Day and the other for the Way of the Cross).

While no written word can ever do complete justice to gravity of this topic, I pray that what follows at least conveys, in a measured way, the reasons for the anger, consternation, sadness, and utter horror expressed by many people of good will. By explicitly making a parallel to the plight of the Holy Innocents, perhaps I also wished to find some spark of glory amidst the tragedy, appealing to Christian hope and God’s mercy that, like the sons of Bethlehem, today’s victims of abortion, who perish without the grace of baptism, might also enjoy the beatific vision.


Ex ore infantium, Deus, et lactantium
perficisti laudem propter inimicos tuos
ut destruas inimicum et ultorem

Non Loquendo

O, would that we might live to see at end
tempestuous, embittered inner strife
where voiceless beings, sadly, must contend
against the power of a sharpened knife.
Who dares announce glad tidings to the poor,
and unto captives, liberty proclaim?
Who shall release from bondage the most pure,
and ransom man from his enduring shame?
The saintly path is treacherous and steep;
the Adversary waits at ev’ry turn,
devising ways to haul men to the deep
abyss where broken souls forever burn;
and he incites from high his hellish seat
Herodian blood-thirst and wild deceit.

Herodian blood-thirst and wild deceit
finds in too many hearts a fertile plain
enriched by Adam’s fatal first conceit
and tilled by the most wicked hands of Cain.
Not some opponent clad in armored garb,
nor one well-trained in military arts;
not even one with gift of verbal barb,
but silent ones of scarcely beating hearts
become the targets of the ghastly ire
as blades slice deep into the sacred womb;
responsibility torn from desire;
flesh flushed away to some unworthy tomb.
Might we then toil for those who cannot fend,
or shall we, held by fear, fail to defend?

Or shall we, held by fear, fail to defend
the piteous who shan’t obtain the pow’r
to see the stage and on its height ascend
to strut and fret in vain for but an hour?
Alas, we must not fade into the night
when Zeitgeist and the Paraclete conflict;
we cannot entertain the thought of flight
by calling on the name of Benedict,
for when the bulls of Bashan circle round
and by the lion’s mouth we stand accursed,
let not their vitriolic words confound:
recall Him whom the whole world hated first,
for those who damn Him also damn the sweet,
low, helpless lives consumed by the elite.

Low, helpless lives consumed by the elite,
too small to give consensual reply,
are ne’er enough; their numbers cannot meet
demands of those demanding high supply.
The cool effete then labor silently
upon a face who never knew a mild
embrace, responding only to a plea
for limbs and organs of a plundered child.
A doctor’s house becomes a den of thieves
as ones who once swore “do no harm” rejoice;
a mother in remorseful spirits grieves
her sacrifice unto the god of Choice.
As breath of life escapes from ev’ry lung,
you barely hear the cry of Rachel’s young.

You barely hear the cry of Rachel’s young
and nothing can assuage her bloodshot eyes,
for though the psalmist’s soothing dirge is sung,
no plaintive tune gives grief an apt disguise.
The waters of far Babylon flow fast
unto the murky depths of Persian seas;
so too her progeny is quickly cast
unto oblivion with chilling ease.
She bears the wounds of overwhelming strife
like cracks that burst when once-green timber dries;
no longer are her loins the gate of life;
per me si va…” is written on her thighs.
There life begins, but hope is torn apart
in deepest valleys, closest to the heart.

In deepest valleys, closest to the heart,
where fledgling life in safety ought to lie,
harsh slings and sharpened arrows swiftly dart
and blot the colored promise in the sky.
A new deluge forebodingly awaits,
obscure and mute but ready for the kill;
and when, at last, unfettered are the gates,
death’s flood runs red with unarrested thrill.
And thus the brutal verdict is pronounced
on infants for a crime that is not theirs;
by its own doing, mankind has denounced
the future by extinguishing its heirs,
whose grievous plight is met with silenced tongue;
no mourning bells for them are ever rung.

No mourning bells for them are ever rung;
the stillness of the heavy clapper meets
the ghostly tones of requiems unsung—
a harmony which only sin completes.
The eulogist’s old eloquence is slurred;
his trusted pen has suddenly run dry;
perhaps he will more simply find a word
to praise the perpetrators of the lie.
Amen, our age reveals itself accursed,
acclaiming the sad prophecy of yore:
“How fortunate the breasts that never nursed,
and highly blest the wombs that never bore!”
To these new souls who far too soon depart,
no priest can find a blessing to impart.

No priest can find a blessing to impart
for victims of the undercover death,
unjustly segregated from the start,
hand-picked to be deprived of living breath
and counted in the mass of nameless souls—
their short existence known but to the few
whose selfish, arbitrary will controls
the justice scales that judges overthrew.
Their stone-cold hearts unleash a bitter gloom
like frost compelling fragile life to yield,
ensuring that rosebuds shan’t ever bloom,
but leaves them fallen on the icy field.
The slaughter runs beneath a healing guise;
oblations to a strange god ever rise.

Oblations to a strange god ever rise:
this deity will happily receive
fresh lungs and livers, brains and legs and eyes—
another poor and banished child of Eve.
The spirits of Azteca dance anew;
Apothetae prepare for what they crave,
while cushioned altars break the old taboo,
and Isaac’s angel saves none from the grave.
They lay the off’ring on the table spread
within their temple’s sterile, white-lit stall;
syringes pierce a twitching, brittle head,
like voodoo knives into a lifeless doll.
Such off’rings seem the spawn of horrid dreams
cloaked only in their dazzling scarlet streams.

Cloaked only in their dazzling scarlet streams
like captured kings denounced with cries of “Hail”
whose tender flesh transforms to open seams,
who writhe in agony to no avail.
And when the futile struggle is complete
as weak defense is swiftly overcome,
the reaper quickly readies to repeat
his handiwork with hands made cold and numb,
announcing with most unironic gall
to those who dare protest his work anew:
“This precious blood is shed and poured for all;
this is a body given up for you!”
—a commodity for profiteering eyes,
exchanged for what the publican supplies.

Exchanged for what the publican supplies
and purchased through abuse of public trust,
the host of slaughterhouses dignifies
an unrestricted spread of blood-stained lust—
for ev’ry time the civic coffers spill
their treasure to the sovereign god of Choice,
the scalpel-wielding butchers gladly kill
a multitude of youths bereft of voice.
Before its judgment, ev’ry man must kneel
in spite of what each conscience dares believe;
against the sentence, Choice gives no appeal,
no mercy, no occasion for reprieve—
the cost of such religion surely seems
no diff’rent from the price of wooden beams.

No diff’rent from the price of wooden beams—
not silver coinage, nor a moonlit kiss,
nor products of some engineering teams
in Italy can buy the serpent’s hiss.
Instead, the price is human dignity,
relinquished for a freedom ill-perceived;
thus, to refresh the tree of Liberty
requires the lifeblood of the new-conceived,
who take the place of patriots of old;
unwittingly coerced unto the mix,
babes drawn against a tyrant’s hand must fold
and yield unto the current of the Styx;
yet as they sink beneath infernal might,
their tragedy unravels in our sight.

Their tragedy unravels in our sight,
a gruesome spectacle for all to see;
the harshest truth in all its monstrous fright
has vanquished all deniability.
The butchered ruins of the dead cry out
not for revenge, but for a final peace
where man no longer celebrates the rout
of children and the massacre shall cease.
‘Til then, responsibility remains
with those who have survived the fetal stage
to labor in the arduous campaigns
to spare these children from man’s deathly rage.
Yet if they never gaze on earthly light,
shall they perceive celestial delight?

Shall they perceive celestial delight
and know again flesh made one with the soul,
or will they suffer from the ancient blight
and know for all eternity its toll?
In this our mortal state, we cannot say
if they shall, in the end, be found or lost;
with hope unceasing, we can only pray
that theirs was not a futile holocaust.
But ora et labora is our cry
as we advance and raise this noble strain
for those who in the womb still soundly lie:
that they will not have been conceived in vain.
The clinics where death sentences are penned—
O, would that we might live to see at end!


O, would that we might live to see at end
Herodian blood-thirst and wild deceit;
Or shall we, held by fear, fail to defend
Low, helpless lives consumed by the elite?
You barely hear the cries of Rachel’s young
In deepest valleys, closest to the heart;
No mourning bells for them are ever rung;
No priest can find a blessing to impart.
Oblations to a strange god ever rise,
Cloaked only in their dazzling scarlet streams,
Exchanged for what the publican supplies,
No diff’rent from the price of wooden beams.
Their tragedy unravels in our sight;
Shall they perceive celestial delight?

O HOLY INNOCENTS
pray for us.

…non loquendo, sed moriendo confessi sunt…

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