What was the name of that little town like Bethlehem -
where blood and dirt gave way
to crown a humble head?
cows stomp hay, lowing
mournful for their fields, smelling
the scent, loaves and fishes
come to fill a desperate need.
Is there an answer in the dead fish eyes?
cows, shepherds, doctors, tax-collectors,
Samaritans know the silence too.
One carpenter, a band of men
without hammer and nails,
or wide nets to reach the poor
red and yellow,
black and white -
precious in his sight -
but nothing left to give.
We cannot feed them, cannot help them, cannot save them,
always too many, cannot change the world,
green has suffered too.
What was the name of that place in the desert -
where thousands were fed
from the offering plate of only a boy?
loaves and fishes, desert and sea,
a cattle stall marked by manna bread
fertile belly, womb of nectar,
milk as humanity.
What is the irreparable caught in the hook of time?
lily, sparrow, man
hollow truth and righteous lie.
what we do
with truncheon, club and spear,
cows chew grass, stumbling
among the ancient skulls, retracing
a scent, loaves and fishes
within the stench of shepherds’ greed.
Is there nothing for us in the dead fish eyes?
only if we want it -
hints of something sweet …