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
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
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
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!