Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Related Poem

My wife and I lived in Africa for a year just after I graduated. That was the first time I started reading classic fiction, and that is what turned me toward philosophy. One of those books I read was The Brothers Karamazov, which I alluded to in a previous post. This was simultaneously the most challenging and most affirming to my faith of anything that I'd read or experienced up to that time.

Our year in Africa was also a creative time for me in that I wrote a lot of songs and poems and things. The poem below was written during this time, and subsequently was accepted into a poetry anthology (at about the same level of prestige as getting into Who's Who). I don't know if it is much more than doggerel, and feel at my most vulnerable when I put a poem like this out for all to see (or at least both of you!!). But, here it is.

The Trade Off

Since just after the beginning there have been countless years
Imbued with injustice and suffering and tears.
Time doesn't know the hurt and the pain;
It rolls on and on and on unscathed.
But we in our finiteness feel. Pain is real.
It respects not and its wounds do not heal.
Years and years you've let it go on.
Masses have perished without the Son.
Are you really watching? You don't seem to care!
Why is so much evil allowed to be here?
Can the few who have found your eternal light
Be worth more than the loss of those left in the night?
Where is the balance? Where are the scales?
I try to reason but my reason fails.
Where? Oh where is the the most blessed end?
The Omega is solely the one who can mend.
But not just mend--restore and rebirth.
But will even these atone for the evil on earth?
I believe, I do, in you and your plan;
But what can be done in this curs├ęd land
To thwart the darkness in spite of the night
And reclaim the wrong and transform it to right?

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