Sunday, September 6, 2009

Strange Children

fter a few remarks from a friend about the logic of  two earlier stanzas, I have made some alterations. I am presently stitching these into my story, Takaaki.

I am not sure if this is a vast improvement on the earlier versions, but I kind of like the rhythm of the second stanza. Maybe you will find something to enjoy in it, too.

Becoming human takes a bit of time.
Nobody knows exactly how we do it.
We classify the clock as the enzyme—
The universal catalyst. Through it
We cease to be that seemingly divine
Lump of life, we call “a baby.” That is fine.
We can cope with grown-ups pretty well.
What gives geneticists heartburn from Hell,
However, are the differing results
We get: when something evil, after school,
Shows up with smoky goggles at the pool
We cease to be responsible adults.
“Perhaps he’ll drown,” we hope. Hope seldom helps.
Evil makes History like Michael Phelps.

The cruel careers of our worst instincts are
Olympic in brutality, but short—
If measured by the life of stone, or star.
Were we less human, we might not resort
To Good or Evil. They’d be words—like stones
And stars. The sea would not be free of bones,
But bones would be more beautiful, like sand,
Twinkling between alien toes, stand-
Ing on Coney Island, watching the Cyclone—
The roller coaster—going up and down.
The salty waves would still drift in, surround
Small feet. Bad children would be taken home.
The sea would sparkle—conscience cold and clear.
Only you and I would disappear.

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