2016 04 09
Though bombs of greed destroyed ancient cathedrals
of power, blasting stone pillars of philosophy
into red butterflies of mute despair,
Tom crawled on hands and knees amid the ruins
of glorious empire where fresh lilacs sprout
from dead land, where a million soldiers sleep
dreamless, and attempted to reassemble
rose window of myth about the dying god
who became man to teach men to be men.
That puzzle is scattered by winds of war
and each piece is nailed to mute bleeding tree
as sign on endless highways of desire
to show lost tribes of escaped slaves true way
to promised land where they build high stone walls
to keep all the undesirables out
while they feast on hearts and drink blood from skulls
and laugh safe in their castle tower of power.
You worship a ghost who does not exist,
image of a powerful world emperor
that flickers nowhere but inside your mind
when vision of his character springs whole
from words you read in ancient book of tales.
Walk beside me on the road to Emmaus
and you will see that I am just a man
of flesh and blood, born from woman and man,
and someday I will die and all my bones
will crumble to dust that blows lost in wind,
so touch my face and I vanish in beam
of sunlight that blinds your believing eyes.
Then turn around and you will see by river
of life my children playing in apple trees.
All religions are nothing more than clubs
of people who favor one book of tales
over all other books about great heroes,
so they gather in buildings once each week
to tell stories about their Founding Father,
mortal man who lead them safe from Waste Land
and taught them how to build walls of defense
to form paradise of surrounding walls
that keep them trapped in survival routine,
and sing hymns to praise his glory and power.
Now we fight another great war of books
between people who worship characters
of fiction based on great men who are dead,
vast civilizations of nation-states
who defend invisible border lines
drawn across deserts, over mountain ranges,
and along rivers where boats glide on streams
of cheerful sunlight, and declare that their book
describes true nature of our universe.
Since Ahura Mazda and Ahura Iman
fought over who would wear crown of their father
and reign as Zurvan over empire of farms,
since Jesus and Lucifer, sons of Zeus,
fought over who would bear scepter of power,
since God and Satan fought over world throne
on towering ziggurat, lord of wheat,
brother fights brother over who will rule
nations of people who choose sides in war.
So now our gods campaign from town to town,
speaking before cheering crowds to request
our vote when we elect who will play god,
and who will be cast out of heaven, players
in our endless cycle of revolution.
Who will you vote for to play our world god,
human who embodies spirit of power,
mortal who ascends ziggurat of Ishtar
in apotheosis of admiration and love,
while we continue to play social roles
of routine actions that generate food
from dirt through industrial process of need
that manufactures energy of hope?
Ten million people sit alone in homes,
writing magic spells of visions they dream
to create books they hope everyone will read
and worship them as real prophet of truth
whose depiction of human character
guides our actions to survive each new day.
All our social memories of human action
are encoded in books we buy and sell
which preserve tales of a million dead souls
whose stories sparkle in gems of our eyes
and cast ethic beams into gloom of fear
to guide our way through waste land of despair
that any moment death snuffs out our souls.
So we gather in circles around fires
and sing hymns about heroes who survived
but then our songs vanish in abyss of death
and our children play on meadows of flowers
heaped high from the dust of our bones and brains.
We rebuild the cathedral bombed by war
into vast labyrinth of human tales
that relate how normal women and men
seek to understand true nature of things,
so live your life and sing your dreams in songs,
and carve your words on walls of one world church
to preserve your name and path of your life
in Book of Life that no one ever reads.