May We Live, a poem by Shelly Norris at
Ralph Nas

May We Live

May We Live

written by: Shelly Norris


In truth
isn’t humanity always poised
upon some threshold
staged at the brink
of some extinction, some Armageddon
some precipice of disease or madness
or failure or loss?

In reality
complaints sealed and stamped
eternally await address and delivery.
Afraid to be
alone with themselves
cowards ever straddle
impotent liaisons
with one foot in disappointing pasts
and one in the remains to be.

In reflection
malignant narcissists
in Armani suits or linen togas
always loiter in the wings
waiting to assume the podium
as complicit foreign diplomats retreat
in exile. We all share her fate:
the gangly immigrant girl
nude model billionaire’s third
trophy queen in absentia
of one more naked empire in decline.

As Witnesses
to the grand scheme
Sun and Moon set and rise
mum and unaware of boundaries
assigned to their arrivals and departures.

As Rivers
naturally shift course oblivious
of any national borders they define.
As years churn
a crystal ball with no vision
drops us into a Groundhog Day future
where a cabinet of frat boys
swears another hollow oath.

In regions ruled by clowns
Fatalists prophesy prophesied war.

In regions leveled by Barbarians
Optimists opine in cliché, this too will pass.

As some blessings
are curses
and vice versa
within the chaos
of interesting times the Faithful pray
for the chaos of change
as the steadfast and bloated planet tilts
one hemisphere toward the light
one hemisphere back into the shadows.

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