The Crack of Man's Delusion

January 17, 2012
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Disaster falls in little white flakes over the sleepy town,
pale-washing concrete in beauty and silence,
pulling husbands from homes
and sons from beds
with bad backs and football knees
to do their share of
pushing it out of the way.

Unriddable, it wraps trees and front porches;
a blanket of nuisance
soaking morning slippers
and dragging cars into ditches
after locking them in parking lots.
The soft, gentle winter snow
regardless of our schedules.

Weathermen dance in prophecy
before green screens
pointing fingers
where the winds blow
warning us when they’re too slow
or too fast
trusting preparation will last
us through our latest reality check.

Man has crowned himself
since the beginning of time,
claiming pieces of earth
as his own.
ruling masses on whims.

The policeman knows his gun holds bullets
and fires.

The judge knows his gavel kills
and swings.

The father looks down and sees
his son hang from his every word,
and calls him the worst ones he knows.

One man calls from atop his
High horse,
Press-protected stretched lips
shout wars over seas.

He drops bombs from his fingertips,
stabbing flags in the sand
from atop his hill
before reaching down
to collect dollar bills
from his newly stolen citizens.

Back home, waters rise
on the coast in brick walls
from the blue
flooding the streets
and uprooting families like trees.
Once the mist settles,
the remaining climb from the wet wreckage
onto rooftops,
clutching dignity like loved ones,
waving miniscule hands to the sky
in fear and forced defeat.

One shiver or shake in the earth
sends whole cities crumbling,
politicians grumbling,
old men mumbling,
and victims stumbling
begging for
“Help the needy!
Call now!
Operators are standing by!
Help us cope
with what we cannot control,
but like to pretend we can.”

Let’s pretend for a moment
we’re defenseless.
Let’s pretend that all our technology
and weather forecasts
and lifeboats
and evacuation procedures
can not
save us.

Let’s pretend all our armies
and our guns
and all the king’s horses and
all the king’s men
couldn’t even save their own lives
in the end.

Thank God for natural disasters,
bringing down buildings
and bursting bubbles like bloated egos.
Winds and waves that knock us down pegs
in increments
proportionate to body counts.
Back down to size,
where we humbly
hang again
our human heads.

Thank God for tragedy,
for towers crashing like twin knocks to the head saying
as dust clouds rise from the rubble and
cling to pink lungs
and we wonder,
“Why are we dying?
This wasn’t in our schedules…”

Thank God for the reminders
that we are not gods.
We are animals.
The only difference between man
and the rest of nature is that
one believes it can control the other,
and the other
knows the truth.

Sirens cry out in the distance,
wailing songs of the end to blackening skies
as the storm crawls over the horizon.
Shadows reach along the dead ground from fallen structures
poking up from charred remains
like foolish children’s fingers.

Small white flakes begin to fall from the sky.

Decending gracefully through the smoky air
in silence and beauty,
they come to rest gently on the ash.
Thunder rolls through the silence
echoing like the crack of man’s delusion.
The thunder rolls,
and rolls on its own accord.
And the snow falls,

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