Hail to Life, for Better or Verse
Here’s a hail to life, in such rhymed verse
That if you fail to like, will seem much worse.
Hail to widespread political terrorist raids
And to spread-wide sexual errors of AIDS.
Endemic corruption of executive states,
Geologic eruption of tectonic plates.
Growing imminence of financial collapse,
Whole species sucking their collective last gasps.
Urban firestorms and killer quakes
Attest to Nature’s gruesome stakes.
African famines and Missouri floods,
Epidemics, pestilences, lurid cruds.
Atomic meltdown, global warming,
Ozone breakdown, killer-bee swarming.
Mideast wars and American abortion riots,
Drive-by shootings and MacDonald’s drive-in diets.
Sex and drugs gleefully out of control,
Millions of people painfully on the dole.
Citizens’ rights eroding, police fascism in demand,
Civil taxation exploding, economic recession at hand.
Pollution’s the solution to overpopulation,
Corporate gangsters the result of deregulation.
Mass media manipulation leaves us with oxen brains,
Sells products to ruin our bodies with toxin strains.
The average American reads just one book a year,
But eats 63 pounds of fat and 20 gallons of beer.
Soul-dead speculators rake in billions,
Third-world victims die in the millions.
Morality and dignity are dying codes,
Most of society’s leaders are lying toads.
Hell yes, it does seem the world is rather fried;
Well, let’s just take a look at the other side.
Let’s proclaim the miracles of Nature and of our esthetic senses,
Rather than complain of the failures of men and their pathetic defenses.
Have you felt the chill of waking to a morning’s darkling dew,
Then stood atop a hill taking in the dawning’s sparkling view?
Imagine the ocean stream after a tropical storm,
Flowing open and clean, turquoise and warm.
Look at the mountains luminously stretching away,
A lane of granite fountains spurting clouds as spray.
Listen to the music of the breeze in the trees,
Bending the sweet grasses and airing the leas.
Dwell on all of Nature’s wonders that abound,
In this unimaginable world we have found.
Amply sip sweet udders of virgin misses,
And sample other treats with urgent kisses.
And as you refine your heart within emotions of sexual acts,
Also quest to define your part in devotions to spiritual pacts.
Recall the dear faces of all those you love and care for;
Remember the far places, what you strove and went there for.
Relax in the earned leisure that comes from honest labor,
Rejoice in the learned pleasure of valuing your neighbor.
Taste the glistening bowers within this fruity glade,
Waste the listening hours watching this daylight fade.
And in your gentle sleep, duly stir your pot of dreams,
For in this sure mental deep, all is truly what it seems.
Now waken to the rude rewards of life and health,
Which surpass lewd awards and material wealth.
Seek the integrity that comes from living a real life;
Speak with sincerity and be very giving to your wife.
It’s obvious that dark and light are mutually defined,
More devious that sad and glad are similarly intertwined;
For if you allow in theory that these contraries coexist,
Then you must follow with the query, “Which one do I assist?”
Do woe and doom sum up your point of view,
Or would you sooner serve us up a joy or two?
Does your prudent attitude somehow tend you to despond?
Become a student of gratitude and see how then you respond,
And if you should curse either path you take—
Why, you could recall this verse from William Blake:
Joy & Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine.
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for Joy & Woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro the World we safely go.