The Early Days of a Better Nation

Saturday, September 04, 2004

After Burns

Here's a poem I wrote on the date indicated, when I went into Edinburgh and around 2 p.m. our time felt the eerie silence of the sky and the streets, like hearing the birds stop singing during a solar eclipse:
After Burns: 11 September 2002

An empty threat can empty skies:
no contrail-crayon crosses
that pale blue dome. But come on, guys!
We can do better. Losses

are not made less but multiplied
and fear's increased by flinches.
We but dishonour those who died
in dying ourselves by inches.

When in the daylight laws are made
in halls that all may enter,
there's light at night, a world of trade,
a world where Man's the centre.

There is no God, and we must get
our comfort where we find it:
in the rising yell of a laden jet
and a bright contrail behind it.

[I've deleted a verse that doesn't belong here - KMM 6/9/04]


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