A poem about the world and the way we are treated. Selling ourselves for the gain of a few.
We are slowly dying just to live a little.

Cold and harsh is the blade of monotony

Wielded by the masters of our daily toil

They cut deeply, severing the limbs of creativity

Laughing as the blood seeps into the soil


We are forced to bear the yoke of production

A dehumanising process to break our will

They coax us with currency, a sordid seduction

Destroying basic human dignity, while we pay the bill


Heartless and unfeeling, ruthless in their aims

Pain and suffering are their sadistic pleasures

As they play these profiteering games

Blissfully reaping their unearned treasures


They cannot be human, these bringers of woe

Brutally ripping the dreams from our souls

Leaving us without hope or a place to go

Forcing us into these mechanistic roles


We suffer in silence, accepting our fate

Calloused hands and broken bodies; a sacrifice

Will we ever rise up, before it’s too late?

They want our very lives, offered at a price

Submitted: January 18, 2016

© Copyright 2023 Christopher Kush. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


L.K. LilLoCksea

Poetry of a true heart concerned about our human nature to follow, but not lead.
Well written and well done!
I like your observations and wish that more people would stand up to politics.


Mon, January 18th, 2016 1:51pm


Wow, what a lovely comment. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I was sitting at my desk today and feeling pretty down so I wrote this. If politics is your thing take a look at my essay called "The New Apartheid", It's on my profile. I posted it on News24 and got over a 1000 views so it clearly touched a nerve :P

Mon, January 18th, 2016 6:01am

Keke Serene

Accurate portrayal of peasant life, now I'll be a raving Marxist once again...

I really really really liked the analogy of the "blade of monotony." That really hit me hard. Because yes, doing the same thing over and over and over again every single day is a kill vibe, unless you love your job. Unfortunately most "I love my job!" Jobs don't pay shit. Serverinf the limbs of creativity, I'll say that's the truth, put partially also not. I feel like its soooo much more difficult to be inspired and creative in the monotony of the daily grind.
"Coax us with currency." Yeah, the only word you're missing there is "little" The high end 1% that owns 35% of the wealth make It so that no one else makes a squat to live off of. It's horrible, and yes, very dehumanizing to be forced to struggle for the basic human necessaries of food and shelter.
"Forcing is into these mechanistic roles..." I love that line!
"We suffer in silence..." Well ain't that the crying shame truth! For some reason, idk about South Africans, but Americans are afraid of the government. And jts a crying shame. People don't stand up for anything anymore, they just roll over with it or talk big and do nothing about the many many mannnny civil mid justices supported by or committed by the governemt.
The last line is most certainly ominous. Have you ever seen this drawing of a spilled can of paint and the painter is a few feet away, and having fallen from a height painting, is dead on the ground with blood pouring from his head, but everyone is gawking at the poor sidewalk with this gaint blob of paint on it? Yeah, that last line reminds me of that. That human life is so very conviently replaceable these days, and that materialism is held at a higher standard that a one of a kind precious, human life. That's horrible! But you did a wonderful job here! Well done, you capture the crippling horrible ways of the capitalistic society well! :)

Tue, January 19th, 2016 3:52pm


Thanks again for your fantastic breakdown and comment. I love it when someone identifies with my writing and can appreciate the meaning in a very real way. This is a topic that I write and think about a lot. I've attacked it from many different angles but this is my first attempt at a poetic interpretation. So glad it went down well. Mad love for you. Thanks again :)

Tue, January 19th, 2016 7:59am

J. W. Cooper

A marvellous poem once again my friend! You have excelled as always and your talent really shows with this piece Chris. The title of your poem is a very striking one 'Dying To Live.' I love how powerful those three words are and they tie in so well with the actual poem itself. I also really like the summary that you wrote for the piece as well, talking about how we seem to be selling ourselves, simply so that those few in the world can continue to reap the benefits and gain whilst the rest of the world suffers. You're absolutely right in saying that 'We are slowly dying just to live a little.' It does seem that way my friend, we work and work and work and sacrifice ourselves and our health and for what? So the fat-cats can keep rolling in their mountains of cash, whilst their workers suffer in silence, without being given any attention or appreciation for what they do... It's very sickening indeed Chris, but these bosses continue to enslave their workers, they don't care about them no matter how much they 'proclaim' that they do in-fact look out for their work-force. Your piece reminds me of George Orwell's 1984, particularly when you mentioned things like 'They cut deeply, severing the limbs of creativity' and 'Destroying basic human dignity, while we pay the bill.' The fact that they try to make us all the same, just like a production line. They don't want those with creativity and fire, they want people who will essentially act as robots and undertake each and every command that they ask of their workers without question. Your beginning was very powerful Chris and a really good way to start the piece 'Cold and harsh is the blade of monotony, wielded by the masters of our daily toil.' You're absolutely right in what you say my friend and you speak so much truth! We go to work each and every day, doing the same thing over and over again for a boss who cares very little for his/her workers (who probably doesn't even know any of their worker's names) all to be given a pay-check at the end of the week or month, for it to simply slip away on bills, food and other necessities that we require in order to survive and have a half-decent way of life. The monotony is the worse my friend. Getting up, having breakfast, going to work, doing 8,9,10 or more hours, come home, have tea, shower, watch TV of whatever and then bed. Next morning, repeat the same as yesterday and so on and so on. I know the monotony definitely drives me insane! "We are forced to bear the yoke of production, a dehumanising process to break our will." This line reminds me so much of a prisoner and guard kind of relationship. We are the prisoners (workers) who are breaking the rocks, whilst the guards (bosses) simply look on. It certainly is a dehumanising process which does break our will overtime. "They coax us with currency, a sordid seduction." We are totally controlled by the power of money and of the iron grip of employers. As you rightfully say, they do coax us with the promise of money and we end up becoming reliant upon this paper for the bare essentials of life... Because without it there's very little that we can do, seeing as a huge part of our lives revolves around money and we have no choice but to accept that fact. I really like the way you describe these oppressive corporations as 'Heartless and unfeeling, ruthless in their aims.' Their only aim is to achieve targets and make as much money as their greed will allow them to make, which is absolutely disgusting, for saying that there are so many needy people in the world. People are dying of starvation and live in severe poverty and yet, corporations are making millions and millions even billions of pounds/dollars each year... How on earth is that at all fair?! 'Pain and suffering are their sadistic pleasures,' was another good sentence because you highlight very well, the suffering and pain that they do inflict upon the masses. They gain great pleasure in seeing their workforce suffer, whilst they see the money rolling in and their figures rising exponentially. 'As they play these profiteering games, blissfully reaping their unearned treasures.' One again my friend, you speak with so much truth and conviction! They don’t care about anything or anyone else apart from themselves and ensuring that they make a stupid amount of money that is undeserved. They definitely reap unearned treasures. “They cannot be human, these bringers of woe, brutally ripping out the dreams from our souls.” It certainly makes you wonder how they manage to actually sleep at night, how they manage to live knowing that they are exploiting their workers day in and day out, all so they can take the rewards all for themselves… It’s absolutely disgusting. You’re right in what you say Chris, about how “They leave us without hope or a place to go, forcing us into these mechanistic roles.” They force us to work and work and work, degrading and demoralising us. We are forced to be at their beck and call time after time again without question. I loved the last stanza of the poem where you talk about how “We suffer in silence, accepting our fate.” The masses, the everyday people are indeed the ones who suffer greatly and we are supposed to simply accept this as the fact of life and deal with it. “Calloused hands and broken bodies; a sacrifice,” was really meaningful I thought Chris, simply because of the fact that it’s true! We do make a sacrifice, our bodies become broken in time and we are completely worn down until we become fragile and no longer useful to them, simply tossed to the side once they are done, just like a toy that’s no longer seen as usable by a child. Your question is very powerful indeed my friend and certainly gets us thinking and wondering if anything will ever change “Will we ever rise up, before it’s too late?” We do need to rise up you’re right! We do need to stand up to our oppressors and start fighting back against their autocratic rule over the people. There is only so much we can take sure, before we say enough is enough! They should not be allowed to rule with an iron fist over their workers. “They want our very lives, offered at a price.” Such a startling yet very true picture of these greedy corporations Chris you convey so brilliantly. We are not a person to them, we are just a number and as saying goes everybody has a price which is a horrible way of looking at it. It just makes us into things, rather than actual human beings that we are. As starsthatfellonrandumgirlatnight rightfully points out, that the lives of human beings are so easily replaceable, like we are just products or things without feeling and emotion. Materialism is indeed held at a much much higher standard than of the sacredness of human life… Such a shame, that so many are slaves unto so few. I hope that one day, we can all rise up against our oppressors. Excellent job as always my friend. Take care and all the very best. :)

Tue, January 19th, 2016 7:51pm

Jeff Bezaire

It will require a powerful voice and an unshakeable will for us to band together and upheave the tyrants. These days, it's so easy to lull the public into thinking one way or the other, to make them forget about the important issues that had everyone in an uproar last week, that it's difficult for any movement critical to reclaiming our lost liberties to gain and maintain momentum. The majority of the world's population is bent over the desk of consumerism and capitalism, with governments, corporations and private firms giving them a good ramming, and they don't notice or they don't mind it.
A great piece, sir!

Tue, January 19th, 2016 11:45pm

M.H. Parabola

There is a very important message in this, one I have felt deep within me for quite some time as well. Money, work, daily life, routine, and monotony control people's lives so very deeply. Most people don't even realize they're trapped within it. We become more robotic than human, selling our souls for the price of a paycheck that strips us bare and breaks us from the inside out. I agree, when will we ever rise up and request a life that is better? If human beings are capable of such wondrous things, then are we not also capable of creating a better world for ourselves as well? A great poem for contemplation of life, and it makes important points I wish more people thought over.

Wed, January 27th, 2016 5:30am

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