In the Blood


Edward Curtin – TRANSCEND Media Service

Born in a normal time,
The periodic slaughter of millions
By the civilized nations of the earth
I grew to adulthood half-crazed
With fear and numbed wonder.

I always wished to believe otherwise,
That people were good at heart,
Wanted to live in mutual peace
And tend the green earth as if
It were a garden
As if pity vivified all living things.

Somehow the blood that was in me
Said otherwise,
Spoke truth to the power
Of my wish,
While everywhere around me lay the lie.

But my blood, this blood that became me
While millions were being butchered
And Bing Crosby crooned I’m dreaming
Of a white Christmas,
This red blood said otherwise.

Do not accept the way they say
“Good Morning”
And the way they nod as they pass,
As though they didn’t want to kill
Each other.

Do not believe their eyes
And the way they pray to the skies
To save them.

Do not believe their beliefs,
All lies woven to deceive.

For at heart they truly hate
The green earth.

Do not believe the way they say
“Good Evening”
For they wish the darkest night
To descend upon us,
The nothingness of their knowledge
To swallow all.

That is what will release them,
That is all.

Thus my blood spoke to me,
A child of a sanguine century,
Born in a normal time,
The periodic slaughter of millions
By the civilized nations of the earth.

And despite all appearances,
I have never believed them.
Never.  Not at all.

Educated in the classics, philosophy, literature, theology, and sociology, I teach sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. My writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. I write as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. I believe a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore see all my work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding.  I can be reached at


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Jan 2017.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: In the Blood, is included. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate to TMS to join the growing list of TMS Supporters.

Share this article:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

One Response to “In the Blood”

  1. Gary Corseri says:

    A great statement by Ed Curtin here–both in his bio note, and, especially, in his indelibly memorable poem. The poem consists of simple statements, but is sharp-edged–cutting thru “lies woven to deceive.” The red blood of the sensate soul clashes and mingles with the green of the nourishing earth…, and we wonder: what can and will prevail?