RUIN AND BEAUTY

DEENA METZGER'S BLOG

YOU KNOW IT IS ALL GOING DOWN NOW, DON’T YOU? – Poem

You know it is all going down now, don’t you?

Where shall we begin the rosary of grief?
With the wolves they want to hunt from the sky?
When they disappear, so will the trees.
All beauty will go down in the bloody
grave of the natural world.

The deer, denied her rightful death,
is sighted in the cross hairs of the rifle
and sinks to her knees
before the hunter trained in Vietnam
or Iraq. A drone above his head
seeks out his body heat
and puts an end to it.
He knew, didn’t he,
what was coming?

On the ground, a robot moves,
unafraid, ahead of troops,
shooting straight at any movement.

In the short time before the enemies
have their own iron men,
we assume it will not frag the officers,
or indulge friendly fire,
but you never know.

Every nightmare we have imagined
is being birthed now, all at once.
What had been written as a warning
has become strategies, tactics and plans.
I did not wish to live to see this day.

Radiation burns.
Oil burns.
Phosphorus burns.
The earth is burning.
Everything is set on fire

Therefore, beat the man
almost to unconsciousness
then plunge his head in water,
until he prays to drown.

How many forms of torture
can you name
that are occurring now?

Your young child,
the innocent one,
a gun forced into her fists,
will do the same,
even to you.

Here are two Ways:

The Baal Shem Tov,
The Master of the Good Name,
speaks of the King who
refused the portion of grain
different from that
which would drive
all the people mad.

Though declining, he said,
“We will mark our foreheads,
and seeing each other,
we will know we are insane.”

Know you are mad
and live accordingly.

Also seek the hidden
Passageways of beauty
that insist you leave
everything contaminated behind.
Do not accommodate.
Step away and further away
each day.

There are the Beauty Ways.
Find them
and give them your entire life
today.

8 responses to “YOU KNOW IT IS ALL GOING DOWN NOW, DON’T YOU? – Poem

  1. Angela December 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Deena,

    I can’t pick my favorite poem of yours. But this is my favorite of this very moment, almost as you write it. You’ve so eloquently illustrated much of what’s been weighing on me, on many of us….longer than “lately”. The war–the “big ones” and the ones fought in every home, in every life, the animals’ suffering, people running out of food because they can’t find a job, the poverty, the abuse, the horror–I wonder if this is what the world is now, how can it possibly be bearable as time moves on, how horrible will it be when I’m an elder? But, as you say, there are Beauty ways. I recently spent an entire day in simple gratitude…I didn’t forget it all, but I did set it aside to make room for the beauty on this particular day. I realized how deeply important these moments are, too. Maybe that’s all we truly have.

    Meanwhile, this is beautiful.

    Thank you.

  2. John D Brown December 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Yes, there are the beauty ways,
    Find them,
    And give your entire
    life to them.

    Or give your entire life
    to letting
    the beauty ways
    find you.

    If the quest is from both directions,
    surely we will meet.
    Thank you for this powerful reminder.

  3. Alicia Knight December 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

    The Beauty Ways are the way of courage. Thank you so much for this thought, dear Deena. It strengthens my heart.

  4. thelionsroarblog December 11, 2010 at 2:29 am

    how poignant it is to read your poem again this morning dear Deena, propped up with fresh white pillow cases after a hot shower in a hotel in Santo Domingo. I was evacuated from Haiti yesterday where I have been working and suddenly this surreal morning of luxury .. creating stories with women.. stories of tragedy and loss coupled with the magic of beauty and compassion that occurs in the midst of chaos. I am going to miss them and pray I can return in February again when I am scheduled .. even the white UN tanks in the middle of the night had their humor. I was taking a picture of a helmuted soldier peering out of the metal hole on top when suddenly he pulled a camera out and took a photo of me on the balcony at the same time.

    my deep bow and love to you xxx you offer fresh juice of inspiration and succor. Laura Simms xxxxxx

  5. Ursula December 11, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Mahatma Gandhi comes to mind:
    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall – think of it, always!”
    Thanks, Deena, for your unwavering courage.

  6. Deena Metzger December 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Dear Laura: Thank you for writing from Haiti/Santa Domingo and everything you are bearing witness to and to which you are opening your heart. Who would have thought that Story might be a hidden passage way to rescue and restore Creation. And thank you for being alongside the animals as well. I was on your blog Lion’s Roar this morning and hope others will follow me there.

  7. teru December 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I read your memorable poem in the morning and wore it like a coat all day while attending a seminar on therapeutic techniques.  It struck me in the heart as it was announced by you, someone who has always described the unspoken, unspeakable and new.  The horror of the now is all the worse because we are all burying our heads in the sand. I want to say that an inadequate understanding of the objective situation is partly causing our failure to respond. Because so much of the history of our country (and world) is bathed in secrecy and poorly misunderstand, we lack the focus and direction needed to begin to avert the coming apocalypse. 
    Very few people know about the revelations from Russ Baker’s 2009 book, “Family of Secrets.”  Although it was well-received by scholars (close to 700 pages with hundreds of footnotes), it received scant attention from newpapers, the major media.  The book delineates how following WW2 Prescott Bush (HW’s father) aided and abetted the entry into the US of hundreds of Nazis and Nazi sympathizers and many entered the wealthy elite through his connections.  It proves HW was a CIA agent in 1963 and implicated in the assassination of JFK though he has said for the record that he didn’t know where he was that day and denied being in the CIA.  Baker shows the intricate relationship between intelligence, military, oil and finance and though he doesn’t directly address 9/11 he very well may have.
    As a third-generation Japanese American I was part of a broad-based, protracted movement to get the US govt to both apologize and pay monetary damages to the survivors of the camps, my mother and her family included.  We were able to lay blame directly on the govt.  Perhaps it was simplistic then and more probably it is a simplistic goal today.  We must all take ownership of our lives and responsibility for the vast, largely untold and unprecedented misery we are causing in the
    world.  My nightmare is that the worst perpetrators of this right here in the US will not in the end be held accountable.
    What keeps me hopeful is my job among the poor and I sometimes think that they will be the ones left standing because of their reliance on each other, separation from technology, deep morality and knowledge about what it takes to spiritually survive.  They inspire me by their smarts and their ability to see through the dross they are fed.  They only lack a platform on which to speak.  We must go to the outskirts of our bankrupt culture to the people in jails, in hospitals, on the streets, in poverty, and encourage them to speak out.  Most importantly we must stay alive, alert and order to do this, as Deena says, we must engage in our own healing.    

  8. Daniel Millard January 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I adore the final two lines of this poem. Thank you!

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