Blinding Flashes of Light

Blinding flashes of light strain
against eyelids too stubborn
or too fatigued to rise
and let the light stream in

Every day a struggle not to crumble
in the smoldering embers of doubt,
every day turned inside out
to find a lining, silver or otherwise

The mailbox is the first theater in the War of Terror,
a landscape littered with mines of guaranteed credit acceptance—
corporate weapons of mass corruption;
seeded with projectile bills and collection notices
that unleash on me their blinding campaign
of shock and awe.

A weary, care-worn foot soldier
in the economic trenches of survival
Weary and unwilling to fight,
a walking non sequitur!
I’m a pacifist, for God’s sake!
I don’t want to fight, I want to organize!

Then the world rudely wakes me
from my somnambulist creditor/debtor tango,
reveals herself to me, beautiful and tragic all at once,
her face pockmarked with
the scars and fresh wounds of hate, fear and greed.

In the blinding flashes of shock and awe
is hope the new forbidden four-letter word?
Or maybe love has tied with hope
for that dubious honor.

When did human life cease to have value?
When did statistical value supplant the human equation?
When did we lose our way?
And when did I become such a pessimist?

The weary world wends her way around the sun
whose rays scorch her more each passing day.
She sees all, knows all and waits.
Her eyes are wide open. Are ours?

—Robert Hieger
   October 17, 2004

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