2016 01 25
While running carefree in field of red tulips
long ago in summer days of my youth,
as I played Superman soaring among clouds,
I leaped over a log and whooped with joy.
Floating with arms outspread like angel wings,
I almost felt I could fly like a hawk
and hung suspended in timeless transport
as if I flew between heaven and hell.
Then gazing down at the vast world of hills
I saw below me the nest of a sparrow
so I twisted my body with beating wings
in vain attempt to avoid her frail home.
But force of my feet, pulled down to the world,
stomped three frail blue shells, spotted brown and white,
that splatted yellow beneath my brown boots,
and I rolled tumbling lost in the red tulips.
Leaping to my feet in shock and surprise,
I stared at the eggs my careless boots crushed,
and felt aching sorrow at death I caused
strike through my heart at sight of the sparrow.
Wee striped bird, descended from dinosaurs,
your quick black eyes pierce my sorrowing heart
as you flap your wings and hop to your nest
and sing heart-rending lament at your loss.
Like Robert Dinsmore, who crushed sparrow eggs
with his plow in lush fields of New Hampshire,
I tried to avoid crushing your dear eggs,
but my own careless play caused their destruction.
While the Rustic Bard blamed his careless act
on the inscrutable wisdom of God,
believing some Sovereign Power has a plan,
I see no reason for careless destruction.
I cannot believe in some Sovereign Power
who urges me to crush eggs of a sparrow
as if such wanton destruction were part
of some great design that requires grim death.
My own careless eagerness to fly high
like Superman among clouds of great power
urged my haughty ego to run and leap
with reckless disregard for other lives.
I caused the destruction of precious eggs
and crushed out the frail life of unborn sparrows
whose chirping songs, ringing in apple trees,
wake joy for life in my adoring heart.
These sparrows could have been born to fly free
if I had not crushed them with reckless play,
so I can change fate with careful attention
to understand force of cause and effect.
We are alive, not by some divine plan
of an all-powerful God who designed
a changing world of birth, life, growth, and death,
but by chemical force of molecules.
What all-powerful God, claiming to be good,
would create a world of suffering and death,
instead of creating a perfect world
where creatures live on light and never die?
This world of beauty and ugliness forms
from atoms that link in waves of electrons,
spiraling carbon rings in coils of life,
so we wake to experience pain and pleasure.
Sweet sparrow, I vow to study this world,
and decode nature of substance and process
that transforms in construction and destruction
so I preserve life with empathic love.