1.26.2010

Carthage

it is addressed thusly:
Each Rome will have its Carthage; A lament.

it reads:
The time comes
Gentle ones
When your foot will set
Like a Roman general
To the land of the laidlow
To those you had brought
To submission;
And before you will be
A woman, almost ninth months
Who will beg you
Not to spare her
Or her child
But that the temple
Would not be destroyed
Would not be razed
Stone for stone
That the sacrifice might be made
So that her family
Might have food
And every word
You have spoken
Against violence
Against war
Against the harm of woman
Against the killing
Of the innocent
Will be wrecked in one stroke
As you realise
The very ground you stand on
She is beautiful
In her grasses and shrub
Rocks and hills
Grains, forests, streams
Groves and vines
Is all cursed;
All fed on the blood
Of a million children
And you will not see
The blow you land which
Turns brutality into mercy
For you will remember
Your soul will remember
Your wife, your child
His first words, his walking
And you, grey-tinged
Will see him a young man
And now again young
To the passion of grief
And you will not see
Anything but the glint of steel
And the fire of torches
The sound of carts
For the tears will blind you
And you too will salt and burn
Salt and burn
Until nothing will grow
Out of this cursed soil
And all is desolation.

2 comments:

  1. Let this be a warning to those who would spurn the mercy of God. Mercy will be dealt out to those who have suffered the brutal blows of injustice!

    On page 102 of "On Social Justice" it is written that "In Basil's writings, one finds a great deal of emphasis on the requirement to show mercy to the needy neighbor. The present work enriches Basil's concept of 'restoring the balance' by emphasizing that mercy and justice must remain in a constant and fruitful tension: the hearers are called to 'possess with justice and dispense with mercy'.

    The $40 you gave the man who had originally asked for $20 is counted as righteous if you gave it cheerfully and in faith, paying no mind to yourself becoming pricked at his behavior or the possibility that he may have been a swindler.

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  2. M'dear, as soon as he seemed intent on keeping the $20, I felt very sorry for him - it was quite a desperate kind of confidence-game - so I gave him the other $20 without much thought. I recall only that I remembered the words of the gospel then, "If they take your cloak, give them your tunic also.." - repetition does bear some fruit, perhaps.

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