–ѕа°±б>ю€ ю€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€№•hcа eАzezjjjjjjj~~~~~~ И~¶1§§§§§§§§§¶¶¶¶¶¶„X/6¶j§ §§§§¶§jj§§§§§§j§j§§`Т5aµЅ∆~~jjjj§§§§ Raven and the Poison Apple or, УThe Fable of High-Stakes Gambling Improving Quality of Life in Puyallup and TacomaФ by Ronald Ginther BrТer Raven flew to take the view, He saw Tacoma, Puyallup too; From the Bay to Orting Town He made his tour of all around. Once he dropped down for a rest, A place where vultures strut their best; A huge, new building blocked the site, A Temple raised to Wrong, not Right. Thousands flocked to make fast gain, Gambled like they were insane; Lost their rent and savings too, But Temple thieves all got their due. Raven looked this way and that, Continual traffic where he sat; УWhatТs going on?Ф he thought. УWhat is this bug that they have caught?Ф УThey come in full and go out stripped, They cannot help but get horse-whipped; They throw their money in a hole, Then hand their kids a begging bowl.Ф While he watched the crowds galore, A roar went up, УThe Governor!Ф Greeting all with practiced nod- It was as if they saw a god. He signed the Pact that gave them this, The legal means to rob--what bliss! No longer would thieves go to jail, TheyТre dressed in silk, from snout to tail. High-stakes now, and slots come next, Lawyers too have stacked the decks; Petitions, if they serve the cause, Also work to subvert laws. Promise voters kick-backs too, Casino with a heart true blue; Throw some charities a buck, Bank the rest by armored truck. УWho are these thieves?Ф BrТer Raven mused. УThey get rich quick off the abused; No matter that our Valley dies Beneath dark wings and clouds of flies! УGangs and rape and murder grows, The Temple thieves add to these woes; The wealth they take is income lost By foolish people at great cost. УThis Valley is no place for me, ItТs filled with violence, I see; It was my home, a gentle place Of friendly people, laid-back pace. УBut now, this TempleТs changed all that, With poison worse than rabid bat; One bite and theyТre hooked for life, A vampire they took for wife.Ф With a sigh BrТer Raven rose, He flew off where the sunset goes-- The land where once he came from hence, To look for people with more sense. He flew and flew, an ocean crossed, Until he found a land long lost; The people there were long since dead, Destroyed by greed and graft, itТs said. УAt least, itТs quiet here!Ф he thought. УNo sirens, bullets, for my lot; Here IТll spend my final days, And ponder mankindТs sorry ways. УWhy should they choose whatТs clearly wrong? WhatТs the reason, short or long? Madness must be the main cause, That makes them break all natureТs laws. УYou cannot rob unless you gain A thing that turns to deadly bane; Hurting one must hurt them all, On this road, theyТre bound to fall. УСIt wonТt harm us!Т thinks some poor fool. СAnd look, IТve got a swimming pool! And my children? College-bound! Lawyers, doctors, parade gowned.Т УThe truth of it, theyТve lost all soul, They wander blind, without a goal; All because their leaders thought A future could be money-bought.Ф BrТer Raven shook his sleek, dark head, And grieved for those who made that bed, For those who rushed to certain doom, To stoke a pit of fiery gloom. At last these words came to his mind: УWhat others loose, you cannot bind; Unless they see their hopelessness, They think that Wrong can somehow bless. УIТve given them all that they need, My holy laws for word and deed; СCovet not, nor kill and steal, Unless you hate the commonweal.Т УNow, Raven, weep for them no more, ItТs useless to scratch up a sore; I paid the price of sin, you see; My Son, He died to set them free. УIf they turn from Him and run, There is no more that could be done; If they refuse and wonТt obey, Judgment falls as their due pay. УSo, Raven, rest your weary brain, This started even before Cain; When Eve, the woman, first had sinned, Her husband, at her fall, then grinned. УСWhat harm is it?Т he thought back then; He took a bite, and lost Eden! For like the fruit of AdamТs fall, GamblingТs sweet, but turns to gall.ТФ ***** ___________________ A paid advertisement by Ronald D. Ginther Copyright (c) 1996 Butterfly Productions P.O. 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