MY POEM TODAY WAS PROMPTED BY THE EARTHQUAKE IN NEPAL. A DISASTER BY ANY MEASURE. Cassandra's box says they will be occurring less infrequently now. Mother Earth is staggering from neglect and lack of love and care. Oil spills, forest blazes, droughts, wars, temblors, plagues --- enough for anyone to scream; Damn it, why?
THE SPILL AND FALL
(For All Who Need to Respond to the Cry of Mother Earth)
Has it gone any better? Love on this piece of terra infirma?
That’s when Mother shushed you back to sleep,
An impatient rhythm clipping away what should have been
A gently lulling melody from the Song of Ages:
"Rock-a-bye, baby on the treetop; when the wind blows,
The cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle
Will fall; and down will come baby, cradle, and all."
The bough breaks, and you scream. Too late for that.
This is not a dream. The freefall is Mother’s little slip
When she could no longer hold you still, somnolence
Finally taking over, and your cri d’couer, a scream
For help, for caress, for all the love gone from an empty room.
The cradle falls, she can’t pick it up. Exhausted and utterly
Spent, she mutters in her sleep: Spare the rod, spoil the child.
Tomorrow, if it comes, Mother will prop up --- backaches
Assault her waking days now --- will step into her plimsoll
As she would her dancing pumps, oil-soaked slippers.
She will slip and fall before anyone else wakes up.
She will yell: “Damn it, who spilled oil on the floor this time?”
(From CNN: "1900 killed in Nepal in today's earthquake.
The body count is expected to rise." So will the sun rise,
But Mother's aches make her wish more for the sunset.
"There must be some balm remaining still in the eventide",
She mutters and retrieves her pom-poms from a greasy sink.
--- ALBERT B. CASUGA