I cannot scroll down to the future
to reveal the mysterious code
written in hieroglyphics
upon sacred, hardened sandstone.
The time might come when the reason
glows out from a golden tome,
but I cannot predict what life I may meet
or what the penance or prizes might be,
though I stare at twisted shapes
and question reality,
and I hope that one day the reason
will be read from a hallowed page,
but although I can’t know I don’t believe
any truth will be shown in that way to me.
I squint down the street where babies
discover their fingers and toes.
I gaze at their faces and wonder
what their future might hold.
Even a mother can’t tell
if the future’s a river of honey,
or a motorway paved with stolen money,
or a misconceived living hell.
I roll past the stuttering changeling,
that grew from the child with wide eyes
who visualised dreams in the clouds of the skies,
then watched them evolve and go scudding by,
curling to misshapen needles and knives,
death on the streets and mouths that yawn wide
in shouts of hatred and silent screams,
and what went wrong with his dreams?
What ill-wind blew his dreams out of shape?
How do so many innocent babies
become haunted orphans and fiends,
and when will the suffering end?
Maybe one day the reason
will be read from a shimmering sheet
and when truth is revealed we’ll fall to our knees
filling the air with our thanks and our pleas,
as we burn in flames or take ring-side seats,
but this is not my belief.
Some say that we’re ants on a dung-heap,
some say we are angels supreme,
but we’re all of us sentient beings
on planet that used to be green.
I search for the secret message,
but the only thing I can see
is the wildest guess in a world that’s a mess
and although it suggests that faith is a boon,
we need to change the future,
and we need to do it soon.
For The Sandbox Writing Challenge 2018 – Exercise 23, I allowed a stream of consciousness to came flooding in…
©Jane Paterson Basil