A cry from heaven

You are eviscerated, you are hounded,
you are ground by the heel of the colossus
your tribe constructed with gold and steel.

Everywhere you turn,
man is set against man,
machete against machete,
and an explosive device made from spare parts against
one that was manufactured at inflated prices.

But I cannot reverse fortune.
Were every man and woman to have comfort as their birthright,
none would understand what they were being treated to,
none would seek the good,
none would care for the earth.

The decree is rigorous.
I designed that consequences would proceed
from those who transgress,
for every generation to test out evil once again,
evil that always differs yet is tiringly similar every time,
so that they can discover the difference they claimed to have grasped in the Garden.

Yet a dilemma has arisen.
The experiment has exceeded the bounds of the proposal.

Devastation exudes from everyday acts.
To erect curtains is to poison the thousands who sewed it.
To tweak a thermostat is to push forth winds that drown a whole nation.

For evil to triumph, it is not enough
for good men and women to do nothing,
it is necessary for good men and women
to do what they enjoy.

I am perplexed. The pages from my lesson book
have been torn away. No one can ace the quiz.
The pass-fail option is no longer viable.

It may be time to renegotiate a deal.

Some view their entire predicament
as naught but a melee in a puddle,
an ebb and flow of organisms with limbs and vessels and neural systems,
contending for a place in the mud.

And that view may be the only one
that holds up under light of honest scrutiny,
and yet the only one that opens up
no path for redemption.

Andy Oram
January 18, 2008

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