chirocracy

Today, another poem, a triolet. The word that inspires it, chirocracy, is from Greek χείρ kheir (cheir) ‘hand’ and κρατία kratia ‘power rule’; the chir is the same as in chiropractor, with a “hard” ch and an i like “eye,” but the stress is on the o as in democracy. It literally means ‘rule by hand’, but it doesn’t mean just any hand; it means strong-handed rule, rule by force. The sole citation in the Oxford English Dictionary is from a 1677 History of the Government of Venice, and it uses an older style of spelling: “It might rather have been called Chirocratie, all things being managed by Violence and Tumult.”

chirocracy
The strong hand breaks all that resists.
Force, might, and will soon overcome.

Your sticks and eggs and bricks and fists
the strong hand breaks. All that resists
is one smooth stone, which still persists
serenely as the grip grows numb.

The strong hand breaks. All that resists
force might—and will soon—overcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s