Puritano

To a red spider lily

In writing on October 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm

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All day long you shone,

a bride of the light.

Apotheosis of the crimson curve,

ballerina in the breeze,

your rosy petals arch coyly around my thoughts

as your stamen bravely stand ready to

hold up the sky.

A long delicate swan-neck of a stem

places you one foot up and a million leagues over

the grass, nodding regally at your kingdom.

Symmetry-breaker,

Cynosure of my moments,

Avatar of a million woodland gods,

when low trade and fruitless empire have turned to dust

it will be your fate to redeem this broken world.

 

 

 

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Last Testament (for Greta)

In writing on September 29, 2019 at 10:44 am

Last Testament
Dear children, listen:
We who have stolen the world from you
And then broken it into a thousand fragments
Now wish to give it back.

Do not accuse us with those pure, terrible eyes.
You see, there was money to be made and
Fun to be had.

But how you would have enjoyed the snow,
Birdsong, or a teeming coral reef!

We are sorry, we truly are.
Shall we shed a crocodile tear or two?

Please believe us when we say that
We came close to changing our ways
On this occasion or that,
After those floods, those droughts,
Or when the birds dropped dead from the trees,
And the trees burst howling into flame.

Yes, we did consider a tax on greed, short-sightedness,
And lack of vision, but there was always
A prize to catch, or a train, or our favorite show.

Children, do not fear!
We, the wise ones, have a plan.

It’s true the world we wished to give you is gone,
But there is another.
It is rich in dust and stones, and
We have thoughtfully cleared it of
All the animals and plants that could have harmed you.
That’s how much you mean to us!

So, receive our legacy with gratitude and pride.
Put away your childish dreams of
Woodland jaunts and summer picnics,
Cool fall evenings and gentle spring showers,
Of clear waters alive with fish.

Trust your elders, these memories will only confuse you.
Let such images fade into the mists of time,
So that your children, and their children in turn,
Will one day think of Nature, if at all,
As we do of dragons and fairies,
Creatures of fable and myth.

Children, you must prepare for the long, hard struggle ahead,
For the desert of lean and burning years,
When all the stories your parents told themselves
Will prove to have been foolish excuses and lies.

And when you have at last carved out a bitter victory on the
Harsh face of a new and sullen world,
If there is an iota of mercy left in your toughened hearts,
We ask that you now and then think of us, and
Say a prayer for your mothers and fathers,
Who will be judged for what we did, and
Did not do,
In this world and the next.

Wake Up

In writing on September 20, 2019 at 1:19 pm

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