Yet some will not see paradise
through the blinders they wear to look
askance at the hand that delivers them
luscious pomegranates, figs, and palm dates,
a hand that feeds them just as it fed their parents
and their parents, and their parents —
never having asked anything in return.
What is it this bunch seeks?
Prophets to hug them and assure paradise?
Well, there are those in every corner of the world:
They have sold paradise over time as a distant place,
a place believers must shed blood to reach. And
know it, or not, they would char the known world
its fiery and luscious plants; its seven seas,
seven wonders; and 3-30 million animal species;
all to suit a fantasy end.
True, some fantasies are more compelling than reality;
But I doubt the path there is shorter than the one to ruin,
which can easily be reached from anywhere.
After all, who would proclaim the path to paradise a crapshoot?
How unglamourous. How many apostles would slog in uncertainty
to find absolute paradise lies within the well-sounded heart,
then work to cultivate it from the inside out?
Men women and children — mommies daddies
nonas nonos aunties uncles nieces nephews
brothers sisters friends and associates — those who
make their paradise here, among us, minute by minute
in the fruitful, well-watered garden bequeathed them
They are the source and the route too often marred
and made bloody.
While each man seeks his own testament,
our predecessors have shown,
en route, there is no need to cut like thread, or to
unravel wide and intricate designs — a society —
a fabric that holds the sweep of shades, Afric to Arctic.
Who knows if death is any reward,
the way faith may be faith’s reward, or
the way love is love’s reward, prophet,
creed and guard; But paradise
without violence is real, and among us there are,
as the elders say: “None so blind as those who will not see.”