BAD TIMES The tree explains why he bore no fruit.
The poet explains why his work got bad.
The general explains why the war was lost.
Pictures painted on ruptured canvas.
Reports on exploits delivered to the forgetful.
Noble conduct observed by no one.
Shall we turn the shattered vase into a pisspot?
Shall we change the laughable tragedy into a farce?
Shall we banish the crippled lover to the kitchen?
Praise to those who flee the tumbledown house!
Praise to those who slam the door in the face of a friend in need!
Praise to those who forget the impractical dream!
The house will be built with stone that happens to be there.
The revolution will be made with people who happen to be there.
The picture will be painted with paint that happens to be there.
Bertolt Brecht [adapted from Bertold Brecht, Poems, 1913-1956. Edited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim]