Persons attempting to find a motive will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot will be shot.
I stand by the shell of a diveThat was one of my favorite placesAnd wait for the snow to arriveWhile around me the lonely piecesOf the city's splintered soul,With a hermit's scarf on their facesAnd their eyes on the ground or the goal,Like bees from a shaken hiveSwarm through the electric cold.
Past windows that advertiseThe price of the latest craze --The toy that will always please, The game that will always be played --Pedestrians on the runFrom the job that eats their daysAttack the streets and weaveIn search of immediate funLike soldiers on short leave.
Armed to the teeth with intent,Movement is what they are --I can see them from where I standAs they arrow past the bar --The lords of a scurrying raceWho fill the seasonal streetsDay in and day out again --Not motionless even in sleep;A race of sharks, not men.
Now snowflakes feather the sky,And swirl on the whips of the windThrough canyons that preach the lieOf civilization's thrustAnd the worth of the marked-down buy --The lie that goods which are soldOr bought by the shopping cartWill answer the needs of the soulOr buy an unquestioning heart.
The truth is a quieter voice,A whisper which softly singsThat winter was made to rejoice,And babies are born to bring peace,And people are worth more than things,And none of us are alone --Which we all must learn firsthandBefore our immigrant soulsReturn to their native land.
By the light of a pagan tree,In the heat of a candle's glow,We are part of a common nameThat atomized long ago --The sparks of a broken flameThat burns for the oystered pearl,That seeks by uncommon starsFor the leap of persistent joyAnd the answer behind the world.
But no stars shine above --Just the obstinate distant glowOf a gray and thoughtless heavenWhich I cannot confront or know --And there are no easy answers,Just people with hopes and fearsWho pass by each other blindOn the way to a warm lit roomIn the lonely way of their kind.
In this age where we make ends meetBetween the push and the shoveAnd huddle like lambs in the nightAnd yearn for a gift from above To fall, like the snow, at my feet,We must each do what we canIn the teeth of the old year's deathTo affirm the worth of manAnd the fellowship of breath.
All we are is a storm --Like snowflakes we meet the earthWith an individual kiss,And together we pile and driftTill the blizzard of our birth,Like a long-discarded gift,Is forgotten, and we grow grayBy the side of a shining roadTill we finally melt away.
All we have is a dayIn the calendar of TimeTo light an affirming flameBeneath the seasonal domeOf distant tinselled stars,To make from this desert a home,And do our daily partTo keep the soldiers of RomeFrom conquering our hearts.
All I can do is my bestTo candle against the night --To swear by each morning sunThat all of us come from light,So it's all of us or none --And to stand each day I liveFor the rules that I yearly believeWhen I bravely play at loveOn the day after Christmas Eve.
Copyright 2011 Matthew J Wells
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