Sunday, November 28, 2010


I can feel it coming.

I hear it moving under the earth,
tremors so slight I’m not quite sure
they shook the earth under my feet.
There’s an odor in the summer air,
suddenly strong, as suddenly gone.

On the fringes of my world
the evil has overwhelmed the light.
Its thunderous step has stamped out all song.
Its blackness has eliminated all color
but the one that runs like water in the streets,
the one that soaks the earth
the one that obliterates the difference
in the color of the skin,
the difference in language,
the separate historical condition,
of each time and place.
The color of blood.
The color under which we will fight
the blackness of death.

The evil began so long ago
that it has no distinct beginning
in our consciousness.
It has always been with us
at times a whisper,
at times a shout.
Sometimes it is crushed for a while,
but the struggle against it
leaves the victor near death,
unable to nourish itself,
unable to flourish.

In the high places,
the struggle against it is barely noticeable
as people go about their lives
At times a great horror pierced through
the invisible wall.
People stop their individual noises and turn to watch.
They cry out in sorrow and give money for a while,
but soon it’s Christmas or summer or Halloween
and the happiness of children with the world at their fingertips
and bright futures before them takes precedence over the distant sorrow.

Within the high places
always there are those who fight the evil at its source,
but the blows they strike are toothpicks hurled at a Goliath,
an annoyance easily crushed by tricks and laws.
The fighters grow old and die and are born again
Battles ebb and low and ebb
as those who would be soldiers marry,
bear children work and live the everyday lives of the privileged,
lives of safety.

As the people in the outlands farm
increasingly smaller
more meager plots of soil
for more meager rations
the high places bloom with the products of the world.
Fruits and vegetables in many forms
From every corner of the world
are always available to those who can pay.

Then even in the high places,
the trouble begins to spread.
An entire population of those seen
only in the outlands begins to grow
within the cities of the high places.
Their eyes recede into their sockets.
Their bellies growl with hunger.
They sleep in the streets and
scavenge food and clothing.
They watch as the privileged drive by
in cars that cost more than two years wages
or walk by in sneakers that cost as much
as it would to feed a family of four for a month.

City buildings stand empty while hundreds of thousands are homeless.
Country fields lie fallow as farmers are driven from the land.
The net of safety we believed existed, has turned into a web.

During the years of prosperity
The people in the high places never asked
Where their coffee beans,
raspberries came from.
On the part of the privileged
whose ancestors had fled poverty and persecution
there was no question,
no curiosity of life in the outlands.
No knowledge, no want of knowledge
for any world other than their own.

As world conditions worsened
the people of the high places
are seen as the enemy.
They are murdered
by desperate people who would die alone
or take one person with them
touching the people of the high places
with a fraction of the terror
and sorrow they live with all their lives.

Now, the armies of the world stand ready,
parading their weapons on land, sea and air.
Will this be the beginning of the end of the planet earth?