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The Seven Deadly Sins

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Message Vi Ransel
The Seven Deadly Sins

are deadly precisely
because they are so very hard
to see coming.

We drift gradually
not into the quicksand of pure evil
but slide slowly into the tar pit
of more of the same small things



to the exclusion
of our humanity.

The Public Relations Department
of Temptation
portrays it as something unusual,
as if you'd know it when you saw it,
in essence,
"Don't talk to strangers."

But Temptation's real face
is commonplace.
That's how it goes about its work.
In the beginning it's so mundane
no one is afraid
and therein lies the danger.

It might begin
as a pair of beautiful shoes
the taste of gourmet ice cream
or an array of NASCAR memorabilia
the desire for a larger house
the acquisition of a more beautiful spouse
or the feeling from playing poker
or downing a shot of tequila.

And so Temptation tiptoes in
on tiny, treacherous feet,
replacing the reciprocal bond
created by human interaction
with the insatiable desire
for more material things
which have not within them
the means of our satisfaction.

Thus a succession of collections
of things rings hollow
since they can't reflect
to us our own humanity
and consign us to the treadmill
of alienated accumulation
which is why relationships with things
prove unsatisfactory.

The love of THINGS produces
a material venereal disease
not the carefree lifestyle promised
by craven corporate minions
shilling them on TV.

Giving in to this seduction
is a victory
for predator corporations
which condemns consumers
to endlessly seek
the pseudo-satisfaction
of self-gratification.

We want
what we want
when we want it
and Americans have come
to feel it is their right
to callously use others to procure it
by having them do our dirty work
and fighting our fights.

'til we finally foul our own nest
with the excrement
of our own selfish wishes
which sets in motion
the self-fulfilling prophesy
of environmental apocalypse.

ENVY is the desire for having more
of the things we see others possess.

ANGER arises from the desire
to have all of our demands met.

LUST is the desire to satisfy the self
even at the expense of another.

PRIDE is the desire to feel
bigger than or better than your brother.

GLUTTONY is the desire not just for more
but in fact the desire for too much.

SLOTH is the desire to have it all
without having to do very much.

Such acts of repulsive arrogance
are all children
of the same poisonous creed
and America's being devoured
by the Mother of them all
as consumers,
former citizens,


"Many people have the wrong idea about
what constitutes true happiness. It is
not attained through self-gratification,
but by fidelity to a worthy purpose."
- Helen Keller

- Vi Ransel
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Vi Ransel Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).
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