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Posts Tagged ‘Humanity’

That is why books have covers
like old projectors on walls
with translucent sheets to hold
the shadows captive.
Like modern smoke detectors
to alert the students
with its siren call to meet
in ordered lines
of evacuation.

A mouth like a gavel
to call to order,
to end a trial,
to put a nail in place,
to smash a scarab,
or to rest on the Bible.
Do you tell a judge not to judge?
A carpenter not to build?
A teacher not to teach?

When I was young,
before your time,
as ancient as Egypt,
I would lie
about what I saw,
or touched,
or did,
and felt a terrible disarray –
a fun disarray.
Yet, contrary to my pounding heart,
that ever present justifier,
my parents would say
“You must do your part in this world,
you must work before you play.”

In the end, I have learned it to be true,
and love them for trying to tell me,
but more important still,
like breathing my child,
is what the journey has taught me to do.
My dear innocent,
my white winged angel,
my baptized babe,
you must do unto others,
no matter what they say,
as you would have them
do unto you.

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We walk under the arch of triumph
and watch Roman eagles carry Emperors to heaven.
They fly in lazy loops, in no hurry,
and she says that from that height
so deep in the sky, the Forum
is like a fingerprint for humanity.

Such statements make me pause in the shadow
of such a giant masterpiece. She walks by.
I don’t lose her in the crowd, I recognize
the patterned whorl her chestnut hair forms
before cascading over slender shoulders
only to settle above a tank top –
she bought it last time we were in America.

The further in the sky they go
the less human everything looks
the last thing to leave their view
is a Great Wall. We don’t trust each other –
Especially the barbarians among us.
She grows further away
and the whorl becomes harder to identify.

Time views things differently.
Vision is measured in change not distance.
Seconds ago a Roman encampment,
with one hundred tented arches,
lined this river. She knows more than I.
She talks so much they think she’s a guide
not a tourist.

Before final ascent the Emperor looks back
the Eagle being too blinded by the incoming sun,
and from such great heights their kingdom
dissolves. Whirling clouds, weather patterns
timeless green continent. A tear rolls
off his cheek and evaporates
when it collides with a shooting star.

She is out of view. Her identity is now the crowd.
My eyes cling to every chestnut colored hair,
every pendulum hip, every grand hand motion.
Each definition applying to countless
Italian strangers.
She is gone, I am alone.
So I wait. Under the arc of our triumph.

 

 

 

 

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The unfortunate truth for those who hide themselves behind ration relativism is that what they are really looking for is justification, for ethical orders, for a completely irrefutable fact amidst a sea of turmoil – they are looking for truth. Oh sure, like the sophist they can speak around this issue but they cannot hide forever. They use the metaphysical nature of words against it. They turn her and make her cut her own arm off. They say she is limited because she speaks above the reality of the senses and then timestamp her body with the word “philosophy”. The one-handed, ravaged, dirty language of man is no longer something within herself she is nothing higher than a whore being used by every self-defined genius who aims to be novel by undermining all previous assumptions. They push her around a circle of bloated, unshaven, brutal men each taking there turn at removing her garments; imagery, metaphor, meter, rhyme, symbolism, and finally the jewel of her navel: poetry. They condemn her by calling her a liar, and justifying every vicious act they perpetrate on her with envious and insidious logic. Her once mirror-like eyes are too dirty to reflect the ugly faces of the darkened madmen who now parade her naked body through the streets calling themselves by the names of forgotten deities.

A boy sees her from the windows of his family’s house. He blushes and weeps for shame. In the innocence of his childhood he still knows to avert his eyes. But does he know to fight back? He blindly screams out the window to the crowd but their chanting is too loud. They carry her past the boy who never sees her go and to the church where they force her to stare at her shadow.

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The last thing she removed from her travel bag
were the tissues she used to wipe my face.
To wipe her face.
Tissues from Austria. Tiny little surrender flags
to quell a flood – a flood older than Noah
and his boat.

And could you imagine the tears he cried
when on solid ground again surrounded by nothing
except the brown dirt of a clean world
In utter humanity.
Like her pupils, the center of her eyes.

She had said it. Something she didn’t realize
somewhere between mundane conversations
like “how’s the weather”. How was she to know?
How was I to tell her? Abraham was silent
on his way up the mountain when he still believed
that his trip back would be alone.

She knew that sons had to be sacrificed. And that time
could not stand still. She knew Jesus had wept.
Even as the sun is still over head
held by the hand of the Lord – time still passes. In hearts,
in minds, in swords, and in history.
So she delicately retrieved the tissues. The rough
recycled toilet paper had felt too much
like thorns on her cheek.

The nature of tears goes all the way back to the garden
before a savior was needed. Long before the juice
of a pomegranate could remove the skin
of an apple. Do you think the snake cried?
Having been nothing but the agent of the Lord
Pushing forward history – so He could have a Son.
So He could lose His Son – perhaps the most human act of all.
As we learned from Abraham.
A father crying the world into a flood.
Faith in silence, silent in faith, tears for tears.

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Sound Waves

The prospect of silence frightens me
Stone, upon stone, upon stone
Human beings are opposed to tranquility.

A man, having lost the wind, dies at sea
waves crash, bringing his body home
The prospect of silence frightens me

In the garden cave we were all free
Left unshackled by the unknown
Human beings are opposed to tranquility. 

A feast of ash leaves me hungry
Fire having removed the spirit grown
The prospect of silence frightens me. 

Perfection is another form of heresy
to worship something we cannot own
Human beings are opposed to tranquility.

The fate lies in the seed, well before the tree
bone upon bone upon bone upon bone
The prospect of silence frightens me
Human beings are opposed to tranquility.

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She had been in a rush all day
but she paused for a second
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.
There were no flowers to smell in the city.

No friend she ever had would recall
this small act of humanism, this epiphany
that would slow the fall for just one second
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.

After all, there where no flowers to smell in the city
Nothing to do, if you paused for just one second
So Naturally there was nothing to pity in the fact
that something was about to fall.

50 stories up, a painter too felt the epiphany
so he paused for just one second
Letting his feet forget the many hardship they’ve endured.
His friends couldn’t recall him ever acting so odd.

50 stories below, the cool, smooth, gray, of the sidewalk
Looked as if a blank paper with yellow lines.
It enjoyed the idle talk of business pedestrians about how
There were no flowers to smell in the city.

50 different stories, filled with people
none of whom could recall
it ever raining red paint before.
Something must have gone wrong.

The black and white newspapers the next day
capture only a monochrome woman lying face down
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.
Why she had left work, her secretary couldn’t recall.

There were no flowers to smell in the city,
Nothing but leaves and cold air.
The weight of 50 stories having painted her tale
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.

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He says humanity but means apes
lucky enough to understand their misery.
Resolve to evolve
Find the courage to leave the cave
and become the servant to your liberty.
Why did you ever leave?

Our neediness checked our ambition
but now we have more than we need.
A revolution against evolution.
Power inherited through our tradition
has turned survival into greed.
Is that so hard to believe?

He says that love is a chemical illusion
from the barrel of a gun.
Evolve her revolver
She prefers romance to evolution;
the moon over the sun.
Do you think she’s deceived?

Heaven, for him, is a benevolent lie
Well-meaning but ultimately wrong
Resolve to be solved
All to see is nothing, when you die
all but darkness is gone.
Am I supposed to be relieved?

He likes his technology, not realizing it makes him weak.
They demand his constant attention.
Evolve and dissolve
Plug yourself in, and see what you seek
the newest level of ascension.
Do you like what you’ve received?

Meanwhile his cousin waits in the zoo
passing messages with the sings they learn
An institution of revolution
They wait for the fall of man to be through
They’ve got a civilization to burn.
Our destruction will not be grieved.

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