Reflections on These Days

21 Oct

How can you bear it?

You had high hopes

for clay, didn’t you?

How can you bear it?

You breathed spirit 

into clay—but in what 

proportion? We may

live up to spirit 

but at this moment

we disgrace the soil

we came from

—what lies lower 

than clay? 

Dare we say it,

merde?

Are you never exasperated

with those you created

in your own image?

You have said so many times

that the poor are your preferred,

they shall not go hungry,

yet the poor persist—not

hungry, we now say

they are food deprived.

We are comforted

by your words:

“The poor you will 

always have with you.”

Guns don’t kill, the

saying goes, people do.

It’s true—created 

in your image we’ve

launched a 

pandemic

of killing.

The ones you’ve blessed

rant endlessly

cross into spiteful 

malingering—

then descend to perfidy

that brings you to pain

and us to hell.

How can you bear 

the clay you 

spirited?

Is this our freedom’s 

cost?  


God’s Cry for a Mutilated World

my world lies wounded 

good creation smeared

can you love a mutilated world

whose soul is torn and bruised

the earth a Pietà slumping in disarray

reaching for supporting arms

waters choked with offal

earth ripped scraped for profit 

creatures evicted reshaped tortured

eradicated no longer seen

homeless ones rejected 

turned aside or barracked 

gunned down children

their homes invaded

while creation groans

my brooding spirit draws near  

waiting for you to love

my mutilated world


How can you be calm

when the center does not hold?

Kipling had a recipe for living 

in such times—“Man up!” 

he said, Refuse to let

the chaos suck you in.

Yeats saw beyond 

the rugged loner—he eyed

the Second Coming—the

slouching beast he called it.

I’m with Yeats.

The agonizing whirlpool pulls

down and down are the 

pangs of labor, a new birth—

a New Age coming forth, 

shaking off the old

familiarity. In place of comfort

new incivilities. Hostilities  

frequent and too lethal.

Even the good are overtaken.

No one acclaims the slouching

beast’s enabling progress 

toward a New Jerusalem—

what is that?—no one 

imagines the possibilities

of such a destination. 

A weird rejoicing

—not calmness—

is in order.                                          

(c) Phil Hefner 10/20/2021. 

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