The Story Unravels


Twenty seven killed in Bagdad today.
298 over Ukraine yesterday.
In Syria fifty most every day.
Sudan, Afghanistan, Gaza; we just look away.

The march of human progress, you’d have to agree.
Ever more clever than we used to be,
Smarter, more civilized, since we climbed from a tree.
It’s been onward and upward; all progress you see.

We’re enlightened now as never before.
Human Rights can not be ignored.
We watch what we say, we write, and we think,
In fear of offending, we must stay in sync.

The path of history is straight and true.
Of back tracks and dead ends only a few.
Things are better than ever they were,
When people scurried and hurried and life made them weep.

One day soon, we’ll have it nailed
Poverty and sickness as good as impaled.
Sure, here and there things are fraught,
but we leave them out of the story taught.
Mere blemishes, distractions to the central narrative.
We cling and we sing to that imperitave.

Just take a moment and look at our struggle.
You believe for a moment it’s been unsuccessful?
Nation states, League of Nations, United Nations
and the International Court of Justice:
Sanctions, treaties, binding and free,
We’re bending the world to our way, you agree?
It’s been onward and upward; all progress you see.

So, when hundreds of travellers blown out of the sky;
Ordinary people like you and I,
are snuffed out, destroyed in the blink of an eye:
When those responsible accuse others and lie;
How does that sit with your story?
Onward and upward? Really?

Evil and anarchy rear up with contempt,
They spit at our progress and laugh at our pretence.
We are here, just as always they sneer.
You thought you had punished us,
banished us,
managed us,
air brushed us
out of your comfortable little narrative.

While you are at it, take some time to explain
your view of history to one of those on a plane
blown out of the sky by a cause that was right.
Or maybe one at a market shopping night,
casually removed from the roll of the living,
without their consent or foreknowledge,
but through the self righteousness of a suicide bomber
executing his heavenly passage.
Bring your justifications to someone snuffed by ideology
or whatever the reasons people use to do evil to others.
Is your stairway of progress as solid as you would like it to be?

The path of history is not an unbroken ascent.
Elemental evil, hatred don’t need your consent.
Heaven on Earth? Yes but not as you thought.
It can’t be legislated; can’t be bought.

Heaven is here on Earth all right.
Along with evil, contempt, kindness, injustice, and love.
They live together, if not harmoniously.
It’s just that the model is wrong.

We don’t make Heaven.
It makes us.


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