September 11: Vision

This morning on Sitting Rock
when I opened my eyes
I saw between the leaves
somewhere off in the blue

poets stretch and shed
their brittle, deconstructing
post-modern skins
and evolve into visionary
dream weavers of the future
global tribe…

I saw novelists break through
their ossified doomsday scowls
and absurdist smirks
and, smiling, create
a new kind of hero
who saves the day by losing
the big game, match, promotion
title bout, contract, or race,
perceiving, in an epiphanic moment,
the hostile opponent or rival
as a vulnerable fellow-
link in the cosmic chain…

I saw Hollywood turn
such tales into blockbusters
that had millions in tears
of empathic compassion
at the sweet jolt of each climax…

I saw TV reporters
pull back their probing
shock-proof lenses and mikes
from late-breaking open wounds,
buildings in flames, shattered
dreams and public careers,
and focus for half-an-hour
on a blade of grass thrusting
through concrete into the sun,
a seed in the wind,
a star pushing back darkness,
a wing and a petal
blending to one design
to remind us that life,
for all its savagery, accidents, aberrations,
is a fabulous gift to dust
from some unfathomable
originator's hand…

I saw couples and loving
self-pleasuring soloists
trade in the adrenaline rush
of the latest wasp-waisted siren
and tiger-tanked ram-tough models
for vintage tantric or Native
American vehicles
of ecstasy, riding for hours
in blissful surrender
the swell of orgasmic waves
sweeping higher and higher
until they bridged Earth and Heaven…

I saw spiritual anorexics,
suffering from the numb
empty restless boredom
of cosmic isolation and moral malaise,
rediscover in leaf and star
a sense of the sacred
and within themselves the boundless
interconnected universal flow
spiced with the charge
of consciousness and choice…

I saw eager clamberers
up the ladder of status and clout
insist on a pay cut
at each higher rung
and begin to diminish
the insane disparity
between the towering rich
and the groveling poor…

I saw the Big Apple slice itself
into ten million equal pieces
whereby everyone had enough
and no one too much,
and it was amazing
to see the colorful mix
of CEOs, cabbies, TV stars
professors, street-cleaners, brokers
senior partners, hookers, editors-in-chief
who called in sick
and spent the day strolling
through Central Park
and launching paper skiffs
in the sparkling boat pond
while the city idled, stalled,
checked the rear-view mirror,
cursed, shrugged, eased back,
suspended, and slowly began
to reconceive itself…

I saw the sweet regreening of the planet
and the president of a great country
dying of hyper-consumption
order a grilled cheese and tomato
and two plates
for herself and the First Gent,
then ask for a doggie-bag
for the leftover pickles…

I saw nations
vie with each other
to be the first
to eliminate the three Ps:
Poverty, Pollution, Prejudice,
directing the spirit and surge
of competition
toward a healing species-wide end…

I saw the thing
that doesn't love a wall
crumble international borders
all over the globe,
and a spreading tide
of interracial and interreligious
friendships, couplings, and offspring
till no one could say
who was what
beyond human being.

Then a cloud crept over the blue,
and I saw more and more nations
flexing their nuclear biceps
and multinational conglomerates
gutting and fouling the environment,
disrupting, exploiting, destroying
indigenous peoples and cultures,
as they slugged it out
for the heavyweight corporate crown,
and in revenge
a loose confederation
of tech-savvy third-world terrorists
toppling row after row of big business
skyscrapers like dominoes,
and felling millions of law-abiding
citizens of the most powerful
vulnerable nation on Earth
with a few bombshells
stuffed with ancient plagues…

and a voice said, "There is still time
to turn back from the precipice
of self-extinction
and restore the modern wasteland.
Go now and tell your people
before it's too late!"

Douglas Worth lives in Cambridge, MA. "Vision" is from his projected seventh volume of poems, Echos in Hemlock Gorge.