Elysian Fields by Brendan Smith

Though the fires burn around them,
And the faces scowl and scream
In the Elysian fields
Life is but a dream

And they dance and sing and laugh
As the fury pecks at her prey
And the joy sits next to torture
Just like every day

Tantalus starves outside
In earshot of the feast
But their glee drowns out the sound
They pretend it does at least

Orpheus sings his song
Says music makes the world go
The wrecks outside the wall
They can’t hear the show

Though the fires burn around them,
And the faces scowl and scream
In the Elysian fields
Life is but a dream

Sisyphus, his daily labor
Takes him to the top of the hill
Where he can see the well rested
People eat their fill

Theseus, he is a hero
There’s no doubt in their minds
And if anyone was in trouble
He’d cross the sea just to be kind

And he waits in his palace
As the terrors wait outside
And longs for the old days
When he helped the ones who cried

Every hero in the book
And some books forgot about
All known for fighting evil
All known to throw it out

Why do they lay idle
While some suffer in the fire
Is it from lack of knowledge
Or a lack of desire

But I’ll tell you why they don’t
Help the pour souls that are beset.
How many are condemned with the words
“They deserve what they get”

Its easy to be a saintly
As a rich man or a king
For all Oedipus’s problems
Royal life’s an easy thing

And they look down on the dregs
Who never had a chance
Who were never taught no better
Who were plagued by circumstance

And they say that they deserve it
For being born and raised and led
The only way they could be
Getting just water and bread

But they never helped the people
With the powers they could wield
They just sent bad men to fire
Which made them worthy of the Fields

And walled in paradise
With every scar and wound healed
Thinking bad men got their due
They enjoyed Elysian Fields

And lore and myth got passed down
With stories of sword and shield
Of the paradise in H—
Of the Elysian fields

So once the lowly were evicted
And when all the money was spent
A man used Elysian Fields
As the name of his development

And they say the low deserve it
As they idly ignore
All the people being tortured
Because to whom they were bore

Though the smokestacks burn around them
And the faces scowl and scream
Walled in the Elysian Fields
Life is but a dream

***

Brendan Smith is writer from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is currently a Physics Major at Albright College in Reading.