For My Students on the Eve of Earth Day
“Without God, without his brother, man loses the earth.”
When my students deliberate on the holy mess we’re in,
They mostly see oil-oozy sea birds and temperamental
Killer cats nosing around in zoos—in fact no Sin,
Nor bureaucratic double-dealing, no sentimental
Men as ordinary as protozoa who end up killing
(in quite scientific ways) a multitude of thorns
Too surly, stupid and unbecoming
To be comfortably embraced by our political charms.
Plainly, Sin went out with Milton—
And we learned along the way that we were mainly
Ideas pragmatically shaped, honed,
And haloed—de-loused and energetically saintly
Men and women who read Feurbach, Fraser and even Tillich
And decided that ontology was only a matter of personal
Cognition, and who made Evil the analyst’s itch
To drive out the lingering and outdated cosmic paternal
Scoundrel who troubled us into thinking we were bad.
And after we dismissed this excessively pedagogic God,
We busied ourselves in transforming this sad
And benign globe into something humanly noble—
Something befitting the beast who had beaten chance,
And who’d exposed the errors of backward looking myths.
So tomorrow my students will wear green and dance
Out of their daily somnolence into the pure air of truths
Prepared only to admit minor spills and accidents
On our post-edenic drive to sustainable bliss.