1. 11

Behometh and Leviathan plate, by William Blake. Illustrations for The Book of Job. c. 1825

Taming Leviathan: A Poem

By Don Kilmer | Published May 29, 2020 9:30 PM PT

“Nasty, brutish, and short,”
We’re told life can be.
Government, we’re sold, 
Can help us to be free. 

But does the King’s violence,
Bring justice and fair play? 
Or do those come about, 
Perhaps, some other way?

Are we sure that pure democracy,
Yields peace and ample wealth? 
Or is it more like a mask, 
For tyranny by stealth?

What other choices do we have? 
Are we bound by these extremes? 
Autocracy, democracy, 
Are there any other schemes?

When civil society begins to fray, 
When looting and riots prevail, 
What values did we abandon? 
How did our leaders fail? 

Is it possible, is it true,
That government is to blame? 
We had a Constitution once, 
Leviathan was tame. 

It’s time to rediscover, 
The system we once had, 
Of limits on the government, 
To keep THEM from acting bad. 

Don Kilmer is an editor of Talking and a Second Amendment litigator living in Idaho. See Don’s previous Talking essays (an RSS feed is here and a JSON feed is here).