Tide, Rising

My friend Rich Spees and I had a brief exchange this morning after I left a comment on his blog entry about the first world-wide Gallop Poll on what the world’s people actually think about things. (It’s very interesting, if long. Find it at the-sacred-path.com).

Rich said he didn’t think the crowd in power would pay any attention, as it is not in the best interest of the governing crowd to give the masses what they want. I replied:

“Fortunately the people at the top of the food chain who always think they are important because they can fire people and jail people and kill them, and because they get free helicopter rides and VIP treatment everywhere – are just scum riding the wave. The wave is what counts, not the scum. So I don’t worry much about what they’re willing to do; what counts is what they will be forced to do. When has it ever been different?”

Waves always have self-important scum riding on them. It reminded me of a poem I wrote long ago, which follows.

Tide, Rising

The mudflats are slowly or quickly overrun.
Waters find their way, flowing
in disciplined columns–Romans
On the march, unhurried and
not to be hurried, undeterred and
not to be deterred, flowing tissue-thin
but unbroken, spreading the course of empire,
submerging–seemingly obliterating–
beneath their mirrored image the undefended earth.

Flotsam ride in, elevated to momentary importance,
carried triumphant, riding at the whim of forces
far beyond their grasp (except, tides have no whim;
They rise, they fall, and with them rise and fall
consuls and emperors, patricians and plebes,
according to law). The debris floats,
useless beyond redemption, riding what
it cannot control, guide or affect.
Yet it thinks it conquers.

Meanwhile, the muds disappear and yet remain,
waiting the turn of tide, waiting again to be baked in sun
and bathed beneath the lunar mistress of the tides.
Like the fish, the birds, the viewing eye, the muds
remain unnoticed–and yet it is for these, primarily,
that the tides come in, go out, return.

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