Though no more than tiny ice crystals to the eye,
give them a chance and snowflakes will
jostle the mind like heavyweights.
They have since October
amassed into mounds tall and white
Or, if hewed by the odd ray into ice spears,
threatened passersby with a piercing, crick crack.
Reconciled with nature, we made snowmen
and angels; slued and skied;
to facilitate our rush, we shovelled, salted
and sprayed it off roads; but artfully
onto dump trucks that would haul it away
to insulate our dreams from the same cold
ol’ small-talk buzzed about in our cafes.
Yet for all that, snow remained on the outskirts of our minds,
like other types of beauty we grow tired of.
It flung itself at us but was not accepted, even as a symbol of progress.
It was more a punisher without conscience; a mass of droplets
cold-pressed soon to run off into sewers and thereafter salt lakes &
birth colourful bacteria.
We preferred it melted and overcome by warmth,
even as it freed germs (and we think of SARS,
after which we do not fear bacteria).
We have felt nature’s power to shift and re-order;
To make communities don masks and then snap them off.
Lively bacteria, in nature as in politics, get a nod,
for therein we see with both eyes a process that
for better or worse, must be.
But by winter’s end something had changed about the way we see;
People questioned what in their lives had snow-like transparency:
Were governments? banks? churches? their friends and relations?
There were those who promised more forthrightness in a blink,
Opening books and hearts alike for examination; But
some, bacteria-like, recycled filth into golden nuggets,
as is traditionally done by their order,
which knows that the people (the fantasts) want to believe.
Their openness proved lies, abd provoked the intrepid idealists among us:
those persisting despite history to believe in high moral conduct.
These idealists injected shame, like bleach into slimy actors and impure processes.
But the steel-armed old boys in charge would neither change easily, nor upon demand.
Eardrums ached hearing the hollers for change, yet nothing did.
And, wearied, the idealists fell silent again, while
the OBs found new homes and re-branded themselves.
In the end, transparency became a spat upon ideal,
buried with honesty, fair dealing, and accountability.
But enough words.
A moment of silence, please, for transparency . . . .