A little oasis lives in the city of man,
a place insiders drink to divinity.
Their libations skim the surface bare —
lauding scapegoats, mocking strangers.
Signs say trespassers will be hazed
or drowned if it suits the economy.
But heya heya heya ho, pilgrims
sneak through the bushes so
no frat dragons know we’re here.
This spring first pooled under primal skies
when people came to imitate beavers.
Ancestors stopped while tending rocks
to swim in the living currents. Fish
stories gurgled without need of translation
and knowledge deepened with play.
Animal folk, pointing at what was built,
said dam, not bad for savages.
Later came lords with sinks and spigots
and serfs pumping spirits for scrip.
Contractors were ordained to slay human lambs
and provide clean room service for members.
When enough drains were installed
there were slip-n-slides for warriors in
the rut of July and hot tubs for
money-lenders in winter.
All that plumbing didn’t purge any blood
so much as flush it from the city’s conscience.
For a while the empire’s lavish pipes
diverted runoff from our crucifixions.
Killing was sanctified by the master
plan of obedient sacrifice. Jesus,
Auschwitz, Nagasaki…whole biomes
we now slaughter for our altars.
Yet creation calls us in to look for
lost kin who’ve hidden among
predators since the beginning.
On muddy knees beside this pool
we reflect on Caesar’s image.
Will we own remorse, work to heal
the world we have broken?
Listen for that splash of grace
beyond man’s will to power.
Wade toward the source. Pray.
Toes buried in muck we recall
clear dawns when the spring spills
calm, birds sing psalms, and trees
dress life with leafing arms
for Sabbath morning.
All is risen in the echoing flow,
this pulse that ushers memory.