How Foolish We’ve Become

                          Growth Cycle ~ Philip Brent Harris


He walked through town,
Late one afternoon,
Wearing a Cheshire smile.
I asked him, “why?”
And he said,
“Come walk with me awhile.”
We walked on,
Looking for a dark street,
A lawn, an open field,
Somewhere we could stand
Or sit, or lie.
Manufactured light,
Obscured, occulted,
A  phrase turned oddly,
I thought;
Though I knew
Just what he meant.

Walk slowly,
Breathe deeply,
Inhale and exhale,
And again.
Perhaps we’ll fluff the pillows
On porch-front rocking chairs.
Push back as we sit down,
Rock, like floating on an ocean.
Until we come to rest;
Pushing off more effort
Than  the reward.

We’ll sit then and talk quietly,
Describe what out lives have been, might be.

First, we’ll check the house.
Dark as we might wish.
A clear sky
Sheds brightness on us.
Yet, our view shows less,
Less than we hope,
Like we have fog
Behind our eyes.
Have we inhaled the light?
Light bulb our symbol for
Thoughts and new ideas.

We walk deeper into the night,
Beneath closely-grown trees.
Still, houses, buildings fill our sight,
Still our sight, our vision, you and me.

Beyond the bulwarks,
The caltrops,
Bastions which guard,
Guard against the dregs,
Garbage and people.
The haunted looks,
Those with no home,
No hope,
Only a vision
Of the gutter.
Heads held down,
Those who have less,
Less than nothing
Till even the rats,
Live better than
And have more,
Much more chance
To escape.
Greasy streets,
Litter, syringes,
Broken things,
Detritus of the broken,
Our lives, our world.

We’ll wait then and talk still more quietly,
Describe what our lives might have been, should be

Then, we laugh,
My companion first.
We have escaped
Our prison of light,
Though it looms
Behind us,
Snaps at our heels,
Tries to herd us,
Corral us
Back among
The huddled,
The addled masses.

Yearning to be free,
We pull the night around us,
Cower, hold our breath,
Afraid of the light,
Afraid, it will reveal us
Or we will bolt and run.
Shedding thought, worry,
Desire to be,
To be so small
We go unnoticed,
So large we imagine,
Imagine ourselves,
Stars and galaxies;
Vast darkness
Between us all,
More distant
Than a blank stare.
Envisioning distant vistas,
Seeking eternity,
Hoping for the unknown,
Hoping for treasure,
Craving peace, darkness,
Not of the grave,
But of the night sky,
The stars.

Still, we stare.
Stare at the stars,
The sky.
So marvelous,
Yet, so limited.
We create patterns
Mapping our journey.
Desire to recognize,
Desire something
We’re sure
We already know,
Though never
Have we seen it.
We wonder,
Without realizing,
All we seek is wonder,
From which
We find our source.

Until finally,
In full darkness,
The heavens blaze.
Awestruck, we are
Reduced to the size
Of our greatness,
Understanding how,
How foolish we’ve become.


Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength,  Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment


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