Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Daniel Burston: Prayer for a Dying Planet

 Honestly, sometimes, I envy the dead,

Those dearly departed, whose exits, however peaceful or wrenching, 

Were always underwritten by the knowledge that 

Life endures, and that Hope of Eternal Life  . . .

.

(No, no, not for us, but our children, our children’s children

And their children’s children’s children)

.

Was real, robust, and always – beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt – of the Spirit and the Flesh.

.

(Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone . . . World without end. Amen.)

.

But, no. Let’s face it. You and yours, I and mine, 

Stooped and stupefied, stand trembling on the edge of oblivion, 

With billions of our kind, whose numbers grow rapidly, 

And thousands of other kinds, either gone, or whose numbers are dwindling,

Because ofour greed, passivity, indecision; our lack of love and concern.

.

There is still time. Yes, of course. But not much. And many are not listening.

.

Nor do they care to . . .

.

So, in the meantime, dear God, please tell me 

.

How do we rouse the dead – dead and living – from their slumbers? And how do we (the living) still sanctify Your Holy Name? How do we – and You! – practice righteousness and mercy in a world aflame with hatred and mistrust?

.

And finally,  if you can, tell me  – please!! –

Whose whispers of hope or anguish will fall on deaf ears as the world unravels? And whose will You answer – if any – pray tell?



Copyright 2019 Daniel Burston

Daniel Burston is an associate professor of psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

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