Pity the stones that stand to see

here, where once was the cradle

of civilizations, the toddlers that have

walked away for a few thousand

years and have grown to be adults

of renown.

Multiple times men have come out of the desert to claim a god has spoken to them.

Saying that they had been given insight

or dominion. Flesh and blood,

bearded and dirty – Zarathustra inventing

messianic mystery cults,

Jesus might have had

crooked teeth and gnarled hands of a woodworker,

arthritic and scarred.

Muhammad’s story told by himself, no secondhand

apostolic playacting.

His conclusions were apparently

everything his followers ever needed to know about the world,

spilt out of his mouth onto the sand

along with the blood of those who failed to understand.

History is a narrative written in millennia and

serves as the anchor for our drifting understanding

of how and when humanity became humanity.

But the adults out there, they disdain their origins,

they fail to realize (or maybe deep down they do)

that all gods fall from grace.

In a museum, in a library

they burn and hammer down the

images of their past.

Under abstract ululations, under

drowning chants

hypnotized by faith

flattered by their own self importance;

statues and relics become idols

and science becomes apostate.

They do to non-believers like they do to inanimate objects-

those statues stood longer than their

familiar clans. Yet they’ve pulverized them

back into the sandstone and limestone

of which they had been carved.

The empty halls of cleared museums ring

with the warbles of birdsong, their

nests built under arched naves where pedestals

stand empty are the only objects on display.

The only books the same tired polemics

the same narrow screeds.

The same ancient non-sense and holy poetry of hate,

misogyny, and death.

My nightmares feature the believers marching

on Florence and bulldozing David.

Crazed eyes reflecting the melting smile

of Mona Lisa as the Louvre burns in Paris.

Bullet holes pepper Adam’s face before

the Sistine’s ceiling comes falling down,

plaster in place of tears.

Michelangelo a heathen, Raphael a heretic.

Pity the stones that stood to see our

civilization buried under the thrust

of a sledge hammer and drowned in

the sweat of the barbarian that swung it!