For Better or For Worse

Because we’ve neglected to get better
isn’t our era far worse than it’s predecessors?
Time a toilet paper, unwound with glee.
Have we not wadded it in waste
only to discover the value of each square,
a rare and sacred commodity?

All the diseases blackening and uncured
while time is spent on hurling balls,
winding and unwinding strands of our own hair
instead of finding cleaner and more reusable air.
We fight for our cut of the meat, unhappy with our share.
As soon as history is written, we press down on delete
unwilling to discover what makes our souls complete.
Time is a blessing, but we treat it like a curse;
our vows as humans tested, for better or for worse.


Why Is This Age Worse…?
Anna Akhmatova

Why is this age worse than earlier ages?
In a stupor of grief and dread
have we not fingered the foulest wounds
and left them unhealed by our hands?

In the west the falling light still glows,
and the clustered housetops glitter in the sun,
but here Death is already chalking the doors with crosses,
and calling the ravens, and the ravens are flying in.

— Translated by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward


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