Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An Age-old Story

Charmaine Frost headshot by Charmaine Frost

It was just the age-old story
Of men vying and dying for an instant's glory.

Asphalt basking in the sun
Held the heat like a secret weapon;
The mephitic caged-in air
Spat out sparks and prepared
To roar and screech when let loose.
All trembled in the molten glare
That in milliseconds would ignite
Every shriveled leaf, each gnarled bough,
Every millimeter of parched soil,
Even the most pacifist of human souls.

Wasn't it just the same old story
Of men vying for some petty glory?
It always began as mere debate:
Is man good or evil?, can cats think?,
Is character learned or innate?
But debate was more than a semantic game.
It was a war of egos never tamed
Of the tiger's lawless fury,
Of the eagle's paranoid insistence
That he was most far-sighted.
Each scoff burned with dramatic fire;
The contenders never tired
Of proving they were right
To a sighing jury
Of their fellows and the gods.

A dragon lurked in every soul
Impatiently bating its lethal breath.
Words would clash, planes would crash,
Nations would battle unto death
Until even the galaxies would know
Who most deserved earth's penny spoils.
The flames would dance as they destroyed,
Cackle triumphant as they burned
Every rose, every momento,
Every culture ever raised,
Every prize ever earned,
The science and art of every age.
Hot cyclones would bluster round and round
In a vicious circle never ending
While the anger of men contending
Would devour the planet from pole to pole.

No, not just some lunatic's fable
That many would perish in the fray
To prove who among men was most able
And set Earth ablaze -
Supernova sparking in holocaust rage
Before it shrank to a lifeless cinder
Adrift in an indifferent, endless night.

town sky cloud perspective

1 comment:

dharmabruce said...

Charmaine, I really appreciated this poem. Very powerful.