The Poet's Parallax

The Poet's Parallax

Poem for Greta Thunberg
The Poet's Parallax

To Greta Thurnberg
Who Speaks Truth to Power

By Hank Edson


Do you and your fellow attachés
Surround the tomb of Grant
Like suspicious ministers not condemned
But fearing the inside seed
As though Pandora’s box
Were your charge or do you stand
Like engineers turned doctors
Amid the entanglement of life-
Support systems running out
Their tentacles over your shoulders
As you listen to the mechanism
Tick like scientists testing the bomb
Enduring the silent bridges
To be burned hopefully if only
You reach the end of the count down
From whence you will look back at the corpse
Of the Earth through the TV set
Cardiographs gone flat
Like reporters watching themselves
Before the subject become in death
An unknown gaping grave?


Gentlemen of the Capital
Constructing your private models
Of marble and glass and leather and shag
Explaining the metamorphosis
Not from where the soil
Became once sap and blood
Producing art and monument
To honor the return to Earth
But in closed systems refining
The human purpose to paper and ink 
Recreating a free exchange
Condensed by video intake with outletting
Surveys for the inevitable exhaust
To be statistically reprocessed
Until finally life can be rarefied
To your intangibly hard currency
Which means only that you are left
Asking yourselves the question
How do we make it grow?
Gentlemen, I tell you
That paradox is parallax
Which means, in case you don’t know,
The right question is hidden
Just behind the wrong one.


Captives held in your own think
Tanks secure behind your canons
Of the same old fear regularly
Feeding the given hunger were
Your Darwinian logic sound
The wild air still would not support
The loose bloom of war
Heads whose falling even your spies
Out there cannot justify
Incinerating the starving bony hoards
Suffering anyway the blazing sun
Pouring through the ozone
Hole but even within the limits
Of the circles tread in conference rooms
Examining the oil-based economy
There exists a law for all the planet
Evident in the population
And its sky and its threat
Of death though stunted by your self
Confinement you are exempt
Yet should you ask the poet
I would tell you that to make
Something grow you only have to let it.


But for the rest of us on Earth
Privileged members of humanity
Groping for self-determination
Within the resource of the gift
Of consciousness of plurality
We who console our failed attempts
At kinship with the world
By at least enjoying its variety
Find in the endless proliferation
Comfort without question
And yet there remains the need
Doubtless to profit from the light
That stirred the growth and
Which now becomes obscured
Behind vegetation degenerate
In its manner of collective domination
Which you have consecrated
With your artificial prayer
Covering our human intellect
Like a thorny peal which we now shed
Asking just the fruit of ourselves
How do we make you care?