Sword of Damocles

(Meaning: noun: an ever present threat, an impending disaster.)

Waking again at 4am, with this
Sword of Damocles over my head,
I wonder who Damocles was, and,
In the modern way, immediately
Satisfy my need to know. A story
Of envy and sycophancy and
Stepping into someone else's shoes.

Dyonisius, rich and powerful
But always under threat.
Damocles given a taste of that life;
Feasting, while the sword hangs
Perilously, by a single horse hair,
Over his head. Damocles choosing
The poor but unthreatened life.

I wonder what lessons there are
To be learnt from this story by me?
The horsehair holding this edifice
In place is pulled so taut, one touch
Would be enough for the sword to fall.
Dionysius lived with the sword. Damocles chose a different way.

Its 5.15 now. I've pondered the story
For long enough. Time to take it
To the unseen world. To process it
In dreamland. Damocles and
Dionysius, both long dead. The
Sword still hanging over all
Our heads. By a horsehair.

Sent from my iPhone


  1. it means humanity has this precious moment yet to avert catastrophe, to wake up to reason and for the love of life bring about the elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear power as Judge Weeramantry warned in June 2011:

    “Nuclear weapons and nuclear energy are the two sides of a Damoclean sword. We are sharpening the cutting edge to make it even more dangerous through our research and improvement of nuclear weapons. The blunt side of the sword is also being sharpened to a dangerous level through the proliferation and maintenance of nuclear reactors. The fibers of the threat by which the sword is suspended are being cut one by one through the increasing number of nuclear states, the availability on the internet of knowledge regarding nuclear weapons construction, the availability of materials from the waste of nuclear reactors, and the activities of terrorist organizations who would love to acquire a bomb. The sword of Damocles is being made more dangerous every day.”


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