Askew in Side-ways-land

At 45 degrees inclined,
their realm might seem much misaligned,

but, spend a week here, you might see
how things can lean and yet agree.

Before The Great Tilt, leveled land
accepted all with even hand.

That Balance lasted ages long,
until some zealot sang his song

oblique and with a livid slant,
first in lyric then in chant,

and soon the town, and, later, states,
began to taste his biased baits,

to savor lines one-sidedly,
awry, ascribe unequally.

And, listing so, with prideful weight,
they primed to judge, dissever, hate,

til axis drifted off its mark
as odium dimmed hope to dark

until horizons slipped to flip
and morals lost their lofty grip

- such, what compass points the way?
Does any map not lead astray?

Most mislead here tend to fray,
lost, inured to disarray:

where "True North" rings like stormy lies
as prejudicial suasive eyes

can swear an ocean is the sky
or narrowness will magnify.

Askew in Side-ways-land © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at

Photo prompt challenge (sideways-looking landscape with tree) - link:
Submitted: September 11, 2019