7.31.2012

The Thundering of the Modern World

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
From the thundering of the modern world
Come legions, Romans with blank eyes
From electric light and countless lies
Philistines, but with lips yet uncurled
In the snarls such men preferred
Or so our betters had averred

But what is a dream of a better life
If that dream is not also a dream
Or rather, a type of what shall be seen
Beyond? Who then grips this strife
With both hands? And on his feet stands
And sees but sees beyond the lands

But always within them and through them
Birds, the symbol for spirits in flight
Of moving life and souls of light
Countenance, or those who depart when
They fly up, or is it too literal
Is it perhaps just apocryphal?

Or is this veil simply part of the game
This great contest which we forget
Or perhaps for our device don't admit
Goes on, and God awards crowns the same
To great and small who are heavenly wise
Though they remain their respective size?

And as this is uttered the men crowd on
Down the high walled streets they pour
Trod and trod with feet and voices sore
Sometimes up around the White House lawn
The jack boot, the shoe, perhaps a sign
Perhaps a thought of the blurry line

That runs between all races of men
Which makes them distinct and still yet
All Noah's kin must in truth regret
That race and tribe is a gift is it then?
For it is given from Babel on down
As a priori, though science has found

That we are all related, of course to one
Man, or a few at least - his kin
And the Romans keep on crowding in --
But this contest has little care for me
Though no Bohemian, disaffected man
For this is not a place we can

The White, consider ours originally
The Red had it before us all
About this none can begin to call
A word to make it all make sense
But listen, my Red friend to a word
For both our grandfathers like a bird

Flew here for their recompense
And with two others this land is ours
Not these Romans and their bazaars
Though use them when you can my friend
For like Princes their breath will soon depart
And who will have the more constant art?

Who can avoid this single end?
The two others of course, I say to him
As the Romans are crushing in
Each door and window blasted out
All others screaming in mortal rout

Are the Black and Brown - a mystery
For one gave sweat the most and did slave
And was of all us perhaps more brave
And who inspired us all musically?
He learned the Faith a simple way
Though the Aristocrats of his day

Fancied themselves in a Roman cast
As Rome had lost its magic grasp
Though was never to give a dying gasp?
It was given to them as though at last
It would be a mental chain
But for the Black it was immortal gain

And the Brown is just a master twist
His Latin roots are clear as day
But anyone with eyes can say
-- as we duck the flying bricks --
Not a Roman, no, there is no name
That for the Hispanic can be the same

For all language is older than he
His sweating is perhaps greater still
He too will one day work his fill
And say to the Roman, 'what of thee?'
But here the line is never race
For the Roman is without a place

In neither heaven nor earth was it found
And he is the cosmopolitan
Red and black and white and tan
Known only by his selfsame sound
And that his color is just skin-deep
Unless it be for him to keep

The prizes he can steal from us
O, what this land once was
His shame! His color is not dignity
But 'sex and shopping', my old chief
(And he chuckles for humor's relief)
And says, "Celt and Christian wait and see --
What from ashes reborn will be unfurled
From the thundering of the Modern world!"

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