End of the Ball
When I was a young, adventurous lad,
I walked off the straight, wide road.
I wanted to see the dark and unknown -
the untraveled and the untold.
The thorns and the briars
and the poisonous tendrils
were thick and unmercifully cruel
as I picked my way
off of the highway
that had brought me so far from my home.
I struggled long and hard,
and it was painfully hot
in the sun on that mid-summer’s day.
Many a time, at the sting of a briar,
I thought, “What a fool you are.
Patch up your wounds,
let your mind not stray,
and return to your ‘civilized land’!”
Determined, I was, to finish my quest
for adventure and wondrous sights anew.
I pushed myself further and deeper
and harder than ever had I done before.
Stinging and itching and sweating and panting,
I stood in the midst of a court.
The royal subjects were majestic giants
who long had attended this ball,
and I - just a flash, like the swat of a fly
that happened to alight on the wall.
Thereupon the awesome thought occurred to me,
that I alone am just nothing to these,
but with my fellow man and tools at hand,
we can swat flies… or we can cut down trees.
Either or neither, it is up to us.
The potential is in our hands.
We can rape the Earth, pillage her stores,
and “make use” of every scrap of her land,
but perhaps, instead, we should be respectful and courteous,
and we should honor the court’s guest list.
After all, when intruders drop in and start a brawl,
and the guards are summonsed to arms,
the music stops, the crowd thins out,
and thus comes the end of the ball.