|After Our Extinction There Was No One Left to Blame - A Parable Poem by Jerry Monaco
||[Jul. 31st, 2007|12:12 pm]
After Our Extinction There Was No One Left to Blame:|
A Parable Poem by Jerry Monaco
(For Cavafy and Shelley)
The walls are ruined
Pieces of stone fallen
From parapets; cracked concrete,
Rope burns on marble columns, statues
Broken and tipped, the temples stripped,
The altars overgrown with vines,
The heights nested by birds,
(These, at least, were signs of hope,
Before there was no one left to hope)
The aqueducts collapsed, water flows no more.
The stones of the streets torn,
And put to other uses, now useless –
Crumbling hearths of primitive huts,
Defensive walls of family compounds,
An old stone oven,
No one imagines even the ghosts
Of the great dead
The generals and emperors
The self-righteous priests and politicians,
the captains of industry,
the self-proclaimed masters of the universe;
Or the small Joe and Josephine
Rotting in their shallow graves,
The little company men with their hobbies,
The giggling children, the starving mothers,
The dirt farmer covered with dust,
The soldiers who kicked the dead peasants into trenches….
The peasants themselves,
Those no one ever wanted to remember.
No one now imagines the great or the small,
Because ants and beetles have no imagination
For the dead of that exalted species.
Once long ago
The barbarian hordes were blamed,
The weather was blamed,
Volcanoes, earthquakes, flood and fire
All took their blame, among those
Who were left to place blame.
“The gods are to blame,” said some,
Those who took their pick among the gods,
While others took their pick
Among the people who picked the wrong gods.
History too, is to blame, of course.
And morality must also be blamed,
The whole great gluttony of life must be blamed,
Along with poverty and scarcity and want
Cruelty, disease, oppression, greed;
Freedom and slavery, dictatorship, democracy,
All these were blamed.
No one blamed themselves.
How could they?
Some blamed their fathers.
In this they were correct.
But so were all the others.
New York City
Jerry Monaco is licensed under a
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