Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Hindu god of fire

Zeus raged in lightning tantrums.
Vulcan vomited lava and flame.
Satan smiled and conjured nightmares.
For Prometheus had stolen their fires
and given it gratis

   to women for cooking,
   to children for warmth,
   and men for melting the metals of earth,
   for Cain's and Abel's offerings,
   for Moses to find in the desert,
   for Elijah's swooping chariot,
   for the Spirit's eruption at Pentecost,
   for Hiroshima's victims and victors.

"They are becoming like gods," cried the gods,
"and nothing, not even us, can be as we were."

In drunken joy, the people grieved,
"We are gods becoming. Who can save us now?"

in its smoldering thoughts,
ignited a hymn to itself
and crackled.

March 24, 1990