What If?


City on Fire

City on Fire

What if you could create anything, paint like the greatest artist ever seen
Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gentileschi, Rousseau, Magritte, Cassatt, Ditko, Kane
No doubt, I haven’t named your favorite, your one and only most fine
The list is so long, I could fill up every notebook that I have ever owned

Then I could scrape them clean, start again, fill them once more with genius
Palimpsests where the glory listed still shines through those who join them
Sacred light on the artists who have yet to be considered to share this space
The unknown, the unborn whose vision outshines the sun, moon and stars

Yet we waste time on so many useless pursuits, pastimes, stuff and nonsense
Because we are told we should, we must, or risk not being exactly like the rest
We were born to find our own true self,  our unique gift, our ground of being
Where we stand alone, rare, heady, a seed to plant in the waiting fertile soil

Once we find this secret, holy place, we must illuminate, shine forth, a beacon
Share our vision and partake of the vision of others, until all merge and meld
Until yet another new world is created, as all such are, a new place, a new land
So we together may envision and realize a haven where all might safely stand

Still what of those whose dark vision seeks wealth and power, total domination
Where guns, armies, wars, death and destruction blossom in their bloody gardens
Who could claim the right to deny another’s vision, that springs from their source
Except when it interferes, harms, controls the life of others and risks the end of all

I do not care if it seems unjust for some to have more and others to have less
Yet when only a limited few have all and more, while most have nothing or less
Why cannot those who have excess, more than they need, share with those without
Not to reduce them until all reach some mythical equanimity or fabled equality

I cannot devise a reason why everyone should not have at least enough to live upon
Our symbols have become our goals, worth death, defended as if they were treasure
Where did we lose community, where all ranked more important than any one person
Where unexpected bounty meant a grand party, joy and generous gifts for everyone

Did just one individual decide he was entitled to more than his friends, family, clan
A male almost certainly, became the single pebble, started our fall, this avalanche
Which buries us, consumes us, our lives, in an ever-growing and ongoing disaster
It’s time for us to step away, call the rescue crews and dogs, to find ourselves again

Take stock, build a monument to those who perished, mark days of remembrance
We must stand before all those who would perpetuate this madness and devastation
Not judgmental, but as guides, mentors, parents, wiser adults who understand the risks
Create for them a playground where they may play their games of war and conquest

Perhaps we can develop somewhere in nearby space, arrange for them a dedicated place
A moon of Jupiter perhaps, though that feels unfair to the moon no matter how barren
Perhaps in time they will grow up, put away their toys, or annihilate themselves instead
Most of us as close to out of harm’s way as we can manage, though never utterly safe

So we have come a long way from imaging ourselves as brilliant artists, creative geniuses
Moving toward a time where we may strive to be complete beings, what brilliance then
When we finally understand that life is life, no beings left behind, all worthy of our care
What force or spirit flows through life, moves our universe, all visions alrways shared


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