1. I think that is fair commentary on our world today whether democratic or totalitarian, developed or developing. Constitutions may have the highest of ideals but if the moral fabric of leaders deteriorates the public is quick to follow and we have a similar situation as written so clearly in Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

    1. Hello Ian,

      The number of countries whose leaders are working to better the lives of their people can be counted in the fingers of one hand, I reckon.


      Follow the leaders
      To promised heaven on earth
      Race to the cliff’s edge

      ‘But I can’t bring myself to do this, honey,’ he said.

      ‘Keep your mouth shut,’ said his wife. ‘He knows what he is doing; he needs you; and you’re the best there is.’

      ‘But it’s immoral, if not downright criminal,’ he said.

      ‘No it’s not criminal,’ she said. And she smirked. ‘That’s the law. Our nation abides by the rule of law.’

      ‘Even if it’s true, what you say,’ he said, ‘and I don’t for a moment agree with you, don’t you think it’s immoral?’

      ‘Morality is a changing fad,’ she said. ‘At one time, pre-marital sex was a crime. It’s a given now.’

      ‘What about lying? What about cheating? What about rigging the law to meet questionable ends?’

      His wife exhaled and said, ‘What about me? What about our children? What about their future?’

      ‘Don’t you see, honey, that’s exactly what I mean,’ he said. ‘What comes of our children’s future?’

      ‘He pays you a multi-million dollar salary,’ she said. ‘There is our children’s future.’

      When the people finally woke up, they went out into the streets. The government fled but many in the old establishment were extradited, arrested, and brought to court.

      The accused faced the same laws which they had used on their political opponents.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

      1. Hello Ian,

        You saw my original comment which I had since edited. Trust me, things can get nasty and that’s why.

        I will die for my country, but not for the current lot in government.

        We hope for the best,

    1. Hello Ina,

      I doubt anyone knows for sure where we go after the end.

      The Hindus believe the cycle restarts, and we are already in the fourth and final stage – Kali Yuga – Age of Vices. They also believe the final stage started on 18 February 3102 BCE. How’s that for some precision.


      Four legs to one leg
      Near the edge, hops and teeters
      Dancing on table

      The fire spread throughout the mansion and closed around Tsrang, a devote Buddhist, who had taken refuge in his private study on the upper floor. His four year old son, his only family, was with him. The boy was paralyzed with fear.

      Amidst the frightening crackle of flames and crash of collapsing timber, Tsrang heard a faint voice. The shouts grew closer and louder. Then, the door, covered with licking flames, smashed open with a shower of ambers.

      A man, his hair and tattered clothes smoking, stood at the doorway. Tsrang recognised him. He was the beggar who had become a fixture outside the gates of the mansion.

      Without a word, the beggar snatched a table cloth and wrapped the boy. By now the door was impassable. There was no ready escape other than the window.

      Outside, on the ground below, a small crowd held open a carpet.

      The beggar threw the boy and watched as he fell, his arms and legs flailing. The crowd caught the boy. There was much shouting of relief but this was not the time for prolonged rejoicing. The people quickly got ready again, looked up, and shouted to the beggar.

      ‘You go first,’ said the beggar.

      ‘No, you first,’ said Tsrang.

      Not wanting to argue, the beggar pulled himself onto the window sill and went flying down.

      Meanwhile, Tsrang set about grabbing his bags of gold. He looked this way and that like a trapped rat. It was too late. The window had caught fire.

      He threw the leather bags of gold out the window. Then, he took a deep breath, sat down, and prepared himself.

      His future was secure.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  2. I think worm infestation is also in our education of the generations to come. What we impart will hold or rot.

    1. Hello Windy,

      That’s true. Children are like clay, and what we impart moulds them. If our society lacks morals and has grown selfish the system has to share much of the blame.


      Water starts off clean
      Final purity differs
      Flowing through conduits

      It was 1980s Singapore, and when Kimberley was born, Mingyi resigned her job and became a stay-at-home mum. She was intent on nurturing her daughter to become “successful”. Mingyi’s idea of success was good grades; graduating from an overseas university; marrying well; and, becoming a millionaire before the age of thirty—everything that she wanted but failed to attain in her own life.

      Mingyi was not alone. The majority of the mothers whom she met at Kimberly’s playschool subscribed to her notion of success. Egged by these mothers, selfishness underlined most of the children’s actions.

      In nursery, Kimberley did not share toys. During her schooling years, she saw her classmates as competitors first and last. Her classmates felt the same way about her and one another. Kimberley had no true friends and neither did her classmates.

      It was no better when she went to an Ivy League college in America. To deprive other students and to gain an advantage, Kimberly resorted to hiding reference books in the library, a technique she perfected in Singapore. Mingyi had taught her well.

      Kimberley graduated with high distinction and married an American—white of course—and her mother proudly showed off her handsome son-in-law to her social circle.

      Mingyi was pleased with herself.

      Kimberley, was on the road to success. Just one more goal remained: to become a millionaire by age thirty. And Mingyi was confident that Kimberley will succeed here too.

      After all, her daughter was the Singapore country manager for the Stanford Financial Group, and set to earn millions.

      Kimberley did become a millionaire for a few months. But in 2009, she was one of several executives convicted for fraud on charges of promoting a massive Ponzi scheme.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  3. nothing is harder then to maintain the character of a nation over time, Eric. It’s like the entropy of the soul.

    1. Hello Bill,

      You are so very right. I like your choice of words – “entropy” – very apt, and “of the soul” – Now, that’s a quotable quote!


      From water to steam
      Mercury holds, heat rises
      Sudden explosion

      ‘First I enlisted the bankers; then the priests; and followed by the politicians,’ said Samuel. He walked to the edge of the spitting volcano, looked over the rim, and turned back. A wall of fiery orange against black loomed behind him.

      ‘What are you talking about?’ said Daniel. Where he stood on the peak, the wind was violent and he had to squint.

      ‘Why, to the Dark side, of course,’ said Samuel. His voice filled with incredulity. ‘The war, remember? Good versus bad. God, or gods depending on your inclination, and devil. I and, you know, Him. Yeah, that guy.’

      ‘You’re delusional.’

      ‘Listen to yourself, Daniel. You ignore me, standing right here before you. And you call me delusional? I’ve also recruited the press, the legal profession, and doctors, you know cloning, and even the academics. They all want their grubby fingers in the pie. Intelligent people, all, and they know they cannot take any of the stuff with them. And yet what do they do? Grab-grab-grab, gimme-gimme-gimme, right to their death beds. And all at the expense of people such as you. With every passing year, it gets easier. I’ve got momentum on my side, Daniel. A juggernaut if there ever was one.’

      ‘If you have them all, what do you want with me?’ asked Daniel.

      ‘Ah, good question, Daniel,’ said Samuel. ‘You know, I’ve always said one good question is worth a dozen correct answers. Think about it for a moment—’


      ‘Hey, okay, okay. Don’t get your heckles up. You, my friend, are the quintessential Mr Joe Ordinary.’

      ‘Thank you!’

      ‘Hey, that’s a compliment, and anyway, you and your kind, the salt of the earth,’ said Samuel, and he waved his hands in a theatrical fashion, ‘are the most difficult to turn. Yeah, unbelievable but it’s true. The common man has more moral fortitude than all the bankers, priests, and politicians, and pressmen and the whole rotten lot of your so-called elite put together. You got me there, Mr Joe Ordinary. Your kind. The meek. You have nothing to lose. And that’s the source of your strength. Difficult to turn.’

      And Samuel sighed. Then his voice took on an edge and his eyes hardened, lost their genial softness. He said,

      ‘But I want you, I need you, and I will get you lot too.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  4. Oh gosh, this is devastating, but true and well-written, Eric. Let’s be hopeful the “when” never makes an appearance, though. 🙂

    1. Hello Lauren,

      That is what we all hope for – a miracle.

      Without sounding alarmist, the trends are all there and discernible. In country after country, politicians are consolidating dictatorial powers. Countries spend more on war preparedness—I will not use the misnomer ‘defence’—than on education, job creation, and health combined. And wealth a.k.a. power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority. These developments and many more augur nothing but disaster.


      Party in full swing
      Titanic races to death
      People trapped below

      ‘Should we call in the pest controller?’ asked the first officer, dressed in flowing white robes. He had spoken but his lips had not moved. Telepathy.

      There were several more white robes, and it was difficult to tell whether they were male or female. Sexless. All were intent on a screen that displayed three-dimensional images complete with sound and smell. And everyone on board the ship conversed using mental images.

      ‘We tried that several times,’ said the ship’s physician. ‘Perhaps we could weed the lot. Start all over again.’

      ‘It’s gone past the stage where we can contain the plague with localized measures,’ said the captain.

      The officers and technicians, who had bluish white skin that matched the ship’s gleaming white interior, turned their attention to the wizened admiral. He was in deep contemplation. Silent and serene. Finally, the admiral opened his eyes and spoke.

      ‘I’m afraid the captain is right. This is a task for Commander Samuel.’

      The gathered officers let out a tiny collective gasp. The admiral hit a button and a hologram flickered and formed. A black suited Praetorian, with snow white skin and flattering blue eyes, looked up and snapped to attention. His pitch blackness was an ugly smear in the ship.

      ‘Admiral, this is indeed a pleasure,’ said the Praetorian.

      ‘You may well consider your next task as a victory of sorts, Commander,’ said the admiral. ‘Take your Black Ship, head for the Orion Arm. Make sure nothing is left, not even dust.’

      ‘Thank you, Admiral. Your order validates my existence.’

      The Praetorian clicked his heels and the hologram flickered, drew into a dot, and disappeared.

      As the group on the bridge watched, several billion light years away, in a primitive sector of the cosmos, a black hole began to develop.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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