Poem: Wrestling with Conundrums

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIf nothing matters as the nihilists insist, why does every slight

Every snub

Every slip of decorum

Sting like brusquely touched sunburned skin?

If turn thy other cheek is indeed the best policy, as readers of the good book know,

Why does the human heart beat so passionately for revenge and


That one imagines will magically rewrite the wrongs,

Turning history inside out and punishing the misdeeds of the unfeeling and the venal?

If love conquers all, as all of us pray, why does hate dominate

Our silly species,

Lording its possessive power over helpless men

Engulfed in hallucinatory seas of conquest?

The cat cannot understand why he must kill the bird, and

The dog doesn’t know why he is attracted, as though by magnets,

To the bitch’s hind quarters.

We who own this planet, drowning in guilt, in thrall to

Our compulsions,

Look skyward and know for certain that the answers we seek

Can be found in that place we understand as eternity — or never.

Whichever comes first.

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