How Shall We Live In The Burning House?

There is still time
to laugh and turn the music up louder

We have a fine living room
to sit and read reports
on flames here, flames there
The house is burning, we say

We can buy wine, and chocolate
to make our last hours more comfortable
We have computers, and stories
of that old hero/villain game

The holy egg sleeps
in a bedroom full of smoke;
we are afraid to touch the doorknob

We are learning to draw pictures
of the house burning around us

Our brothers are burning;
they laugh
and turn up the music
They hit themselves and their women
and anyone that scares them
to show they are not afraid

Our sisters
apply makeup
and hope a man will come
to protect them and their kids
Woe to the useful
hardworking makers
of inflammables!

Some decorate their bedrooms
and some huddle in hallways
There is money being made
as the house burns

We might rush into flames
to rescue the innocent
to find them merely the helpless
stinking of oblivion

We can talk awhile with friends
as they make their tidy beds
in the burning house

We would flee for some
desolate garden
shriveling in the heat
of embers falling, falling
as we watch

The Egg gives birth in fire!
There, seek Wisdom’s child
cradled in ashes.

Forrest Curo

[2001? This was based on a message given by a young woman at Pacific Yearly Meeting (Religious Society of Friends aka Quakers) about a dream she’d had at our annual gathering.]


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