Daily Archives: October 3, 2005

No Shaman Left to Heal Our Tribe

Come, dig the grave, but not too deep;
the eighties were a shallow time.
We spent a decade just to learn
how to maintain appearance’s sake
and delve with questions, off-the-cuff,
in cocktail conversation bluffs.

Come, dig the grave, the shovel’s mouth
will gouge the earth enough to serve
as depth-gauge for the swollen corpse;
besides, the scavengers we bred
in boredom need not work too hard
to find in us their daily bread.

Come, dig the grave; it’s only death
that by necessity is born
and like a cancer spreads throughout
the tender tissue we have formed
to shield us from the sunlight’s glare
and make believe there’s nothing there.

Come, work the soil and lay the sod;
the garden must be fed anew
lest what fruit has escaped the rod
be left to rot by morning’s dew.
What harvest plenty still remains
is just enough to clog the drains.

Come, dig the grave, but not too deep,
lest toil and sweat destroy our youth.
Let future generations weep
that they’ve no gravestone for the truth.
Besides, it’s almost happy hour —
we should arrive by our own power.

for Jim Morrison

03 OCT 2005

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The Wheels of Progress

When ground to standstill, mired, besmirched,
their cog-end mesh begun to rust,
the wheels of progress can but lurch.
Their motion barely moves the dust;

and each gear’s inch assaults the ear
with tortured squeaks and sudden stalls.
Behind all effort lies the fear
of a collapse. Beyond the walls

that seem now solid, storm clouds build,
and in their grey depths store the seeds
of new despair, and drain the will
that seeks out hope, and guarantees.

The great machine we all assume
needs only maintenance to sustain
prosperity — is it now doomed,
its circuits blown under the strain

of finding crisis hidden where
in some illusion, we once thought
ourselves immune, and without care
protected by the things we bought?

The factory that once supplied
in part and parcel, our defense,
lies now in ruin, paralyzed,
struck dumb by an experience.

03 OCT 2005

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