Howard Firkin
Ambition always was a garbage truck.
It calls at intervals along your street
and levies each house for its share of muck;
forever full, forever unreplete.
      Corruption always had a complex perfume.
For every action there is equal waste,
a sewage: effort, time, and breath. Ambition’s
favourite morsel leaves the sourest taste;
consuming men, excreting politicians:
      a thin manure that starves the smallest bloom.

Some dot the paddocks, some float out to sea,
die on the job, or represent the Queen,
some land on boulevards of gay Paris—
the same by-products that they’ve always been.