Monday, July 6, 2009

Another Poem by Fr. Longenecker

The Unreal City
By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

In a dream I walked though the unreal city,
Down streets that were silent and desolate.
Stone faces gazed on me without pity,
although I was poor and desperate.

They gazed from towers of marble and glass,
and watched as I wandered the empty lanes.
No one restrained me, they let me pass,
and then returned to their flickering screens.

Over the doors were the names of power:
Xanadu Bank, Mammon Securities,
Ozimandius Insurance Tower,
Iscariot’s Purse Global Equities.

I watched the towers grow and multiply,
and rise up in splendid magnificence:
Alabaster palaces in the sky,
for lords of omniscient opulence.

The towers stood--powerful and permanent.
Ageless against the swirling clouds,
their steel and concrete reigned omnipotent
over the helpless, huddled, plodding crowds.

Overwhelmed, I stumbled along afraid,
and came upon a garden in a square.
A lawn was surrounded by an arched arcade,
An ancient stone fountain stood sentry there.

I sensed a solemn silence in the sun,
except for one white bird still singing low.
On the side, a stairway beckoned down
To subterranean passages below.

I stepped into the darkness and I found
a vast vault above a bottomless abyss.
Light filtered in; and littered all around,
were bones and skulls--scraps of human nothingness.

Then looking up, I saw that the vaults,
spreading far and supporting the city floor,
were ancient, brittle and riddled with faults,
undermining what seemed so real and secure.

I saw how the towers of glass and steel
were built on arches of emptiness.
Their glamor and power were all unreal,
like specters conjured from the dark abyss.

Then I felt a tremor, and in my dream,
an earthquake shook the city, and it broke.
Souls fell into the dark. I heard them scream
as the towers crumbled into dust and smoke.

I rose and returned to the cloistered square,
and waited while the dread and terror passed.
I determined to dwell in safety there,
and build a humble household that would last.

From here.

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