An Insubstantial Pageant
The smell of burning books permeates the air.
It hovers over us engaged in our daily activity,
Yielding a strange sense of bittersweet victory.
Folding in upon our self, attempting to escape the smoke
We see the result of harnessing nature -
The written word is our yoke to the world.
The word belongs in heaven with the angels.
Beauty lies below, corroded by our touch -
We have tarnished the tomes that remain.
Just as we turn to the spiritual for relief
We plead for support from the muses -
In vain, we seek what we have lost.
Simple supplication summons our spirits
Forth to the battle. Will there be future victories -
Rewarding our efforts to mold our minds?
Seeing the possibility of such victories
As the vapors overwhelm our souls,
We remain on this earth -
Players in the insubstantial pageant.
From Preludes of the Mind, 1996, James Henderson