Maggie and Grampa

Maggie and Grampa
Walking to the Godmanchester park

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Yangtze Blues

Updated from original posted in 2012.

Deep in the highlands of Hubei

    some still hear its song

rising out of mist and mountain, 

    gray home of gods now gone, 

refuge of wayfaring mystic and misfit, 

    place where the wild torrent 

coursed through gorges 

    once upon a time ago.

But now the long river languishes. 

    Murky deepness drowns Three Gorges, 

sighs behind a concrete slab 

    controlled and still until release. 

          To wander 

    ancient river plains 

            that birthed and nurtured 

        feudal lords 

        a brand new land 

    of grit and coal 

            of dusky skies 

        that smother cities 

        town and village 

            torn and pillaged, 

    taken into concrete 

         Borg till onward 

         into paradise 

    of tollway roads 

             and high-rise rows 

        in cities of ten million

        souls, new centers 

    that were meant 

        to sparkle, broker 

            fortunes, beckon

            dreams and draw 

    beleaguered masses 

        forward, soar 

            into the gray-brown 

            skyscape, lined 

       with cranes 

    and belching stacks 

            that stitch the land 

            and sky with smog 

    and seal the earth 

            beneath the load 

of human progress.

East meets West 

    and ups the ante 

heeds the siren 

    staggers forward 

fading into midday haze.

    And from the highlands 

of Hubei so very far 

    away from Eden 

I can hear the good Earth 

    groaning, crushed 

beneath a billion souls

    just seeking salvation

in wealth. And so 

    the modern world goes – 

as Gaia sighs 

    and sets her gaze 

 to wait upon a wiser world 

    of sages and keepers

who care for her creatures 

    in ages of Edens to come. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Voice of the Whirlwind

 “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind” – Job 38:1

Who is this that disturbs creation? 

Who cracks the bonds of matter 

    and classifies the rubble? 

Who samples the dust in the deserts of Mars 

    and light from the edges of time? 

Who reconstructs the eons of Earth 

    and numbers its mass extinctions? 

What kind of creature could tinker with cells 

    and play with the blueprints of life?

You who’d grasp the tragic fate 

    to recreate the world, gird your soul 

to grapple with angels and demons inside 

    while I test your pride with questions. 

Where were you when I lit the stars 

    and forged primordial galaxies? 

Were you there when I molded the sun 

    and chiseled the moon from molten Earth? 

Tell me how you trapped the gas 

    and tamed the Hadean greenhouse. 

Did you summon the mile-high glaciers 

    and guide the conveyer of continents? 

Could you construct a living cell 

    and craft new kingdoms of life? 

Then engineer an Eden 

    to nurse emerging souls? 

So you’ve mastered the tools of logic, 

    teased truths from tangles of facts, 

captured the core of koans 

    and woken new worlds within.

Can you follow the heart of compassion? 

    Are you able at last to manage your soul? 

To bear the eye of awareness 

    and share the tumult of time with me? 

Across the long ages, I am 

    calling you out of your childhood.

Will you grow beyond your grasping 

    and nurture the world with me? 

Will you one day call me ‘companion’?

By Michal Ma┼łas - Own work, CC BY 2.5,