Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fire

By Peter Halstead

My dreams before were never lies,
My thoughts as innocent as leaves.
I was the steady stream of skies,
The fire that the stone believes.

And now the world is up in flames,
Ripped and cut by lesser things,
Torn apart by printed games,
By the loss of heart that paper brings.

We trusted rock, relied on fire,
Had confidence in shears;
But paper’s made of you a liar:
Life’s not what it appears.

Shame on spirit that aspires
To space, but splits in social wars:
If hills outlast the cuts of fires
They’ll even live through yours.

You who put commercial paper
Above the freedom of our youth,
Who bandy gossip for your neighbor
And put editorials over truth,

May your brand-new scissors vaporize
In the hothouse history of hell,
Where it seems that paper dies
And the harmless rock does well.

Rue de Varenne
February 17th, 2005