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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poem To and From the Past

O greetings, our forefathers from the past!
O greetings, you who think your dream will last.
What wisdom from the past would you now tell?
Our wisdom's all too slow and small and whole.
And ours - too big and fast and blown apart?
Your ethos overwhelms our simple hearts.
Your hearts had education less complete.
Our hearts were strong with blood and sun and meat.
But barbarism reigned! What say you now?
You have Hiroshima, Guantanamo.
But lived you then as freely as we do?
Our 'free' was free - your freedom watches you.
But had you happy days before you died?
A miner's grin is cracked from side to side.
And had you any pleasure in your youth?
Of course, before we sought to find the truth.
And had you any refuge from the pain?
Naught but to drink and love, then hurt again.
In modern times our pain is lessened more.
And you recover, the same as before.
But we can see the body's every cell!
A wealth of knowledge. Try to use it well.
We take the very earth, and build it high!
Some other such have built before they died.
Electric lights illuminate through dawn!
Back when we lived, the nights were rich and calm.
Our law and science can catch any lie!
Back in our time, a righteous thief could fly.
We move so quickly, place to place to place!
Our kind moved slower, and had better taste.
We live out longer, stronger, fuller lives!
You live so long to see the other side.
And praytell, will we know it when it comes?
You'll find some sort of truth, you desperate bums!
You sound so sure. Say where the past's truth lay!
Cracked hands of women, toiling day on day.
You thought that pain would cleanse and make you good.
No, and we did not seek it like it could.
Where be your architects of futures past?
Performing ancient, nameless household tasks.

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