The Death Knell

This is one of two poems which show how my moods could swing fairly dramatically, probably due to depression. This poem is sombre and reflective, the other—Life’s Great—is upbeat and optimistic. This one also shows that I didn't have a very good understanding of my Christian faith at that time.

Back in the days of yore,
Before you and me,
Before anything...
In fact
At the very beginning,
There was a very wise man.
He said, "I'm going to build myself a world.
It's going to be a good world
Full of wonder and beauty.
It will have snow-capped mountains;
It will have deep blue seas and lakes.
On the lands will be
All kinds of plants,
And thousands of species of animals.
The waters, too,
Will shelter many plants and animals;
And in the sky will be creatures
Soaring gracefully aloft."
It was a wonderful dream...
And it would have been
A beautiful world.
But for one thing.
That man,
Back in the days of yore,
Wise as he was -
And even as he was shaping
His marvellous vision -
Did one thing wrong.
He made one mistake:
He decided to introduce one more animal
To this idyllic world,
And give it
Authority over all the world.
He introduced Man
And changed the course of the world.
Man came:
With his high intelligence
And skilful hands.
He tore down,
Dug up,
He killed animals for food,
And clothed himself in their skins.
Later he began to invent things:
First the wheel,
Then a multitude of other contraptions.
Machines of all kinds,
All the time increasing
In number,
In complexity,
In sophistication.
Man gradually raised his standard of living,
And the pace of living increased.
The speed increased;
The pressures increased.
Then came the tensions.
Multiplying in number.
And devastating in their severity.
It became too much for Man.
He lost control...
A victim of his own lifestyle.
The wise man had a great and noble dream;
But he sounded the death knell
For his perfect world
When he introduced Man to it.
Instead of being Master of the world,
Making it a beautiful place in which to live,
Man has ruined it
And is Master of nothing.

• Written 23 March 1972. Copyright © 1999-2010 Alien Son. All rights reserved.

Accidentally Poetic