Hubris

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©2014 Mandible|Photography

Humanity is a funny beast, rolling over the world like it owns it, as if anything owes us everything,
our waves pernicious poisons, devouring everything we contact.

We have become the monsters in the night we used to warn our children of,
when myths were our bedtime stories, our user manuals, our operational instructions –  

and now we teach our children how to be the monsters,
devouring the light and souls out of these living things around them. 

We romanticize ourselves, telling each other we’re cauterizing some wound,
telling each other we’re burning out the disease. 

But we’re just monsters, and when monsters look the same to each other,
they don’t see the anguish of anything else around them.

We have forgotten that the trees used to dance, 
that the wind used to howl and sing –

the mountains used to grumble,
and in the mornings, the birds would become symphonies, harmonizing carefully
while the trees beneath them stretched into the clean breath of the earth.

We forgot how the fox used to bark for her kits from her den,
or how the wolves used to roam in packs across the tundra, free of fear 
from us, free from our fear that grew to hatred,

purely because we refused to empathize. 

We believe we are somehow outside of nature but we are instead just above our demise,
hanging desperately over a precipice while deftly defying that we are there. 

We scoff. “I am immortal.” 

We write, and claim it will live forever.

No one seems to remember that if there is no one left to read it, there will be no forever. 
Our bones will sink back into the white flesh of snow and ice, bury themselves into deep dark soil
where birch trees will grow proud and straight, slicing out like the bones of the earth
a monument to the proud dead that are forgotten.

Where we all go to die, our souls will linger, our hubris too blinding to let us acquiesce to our end,
and in this vast barren space, we will wander for eternity, alone.

The wolves know not to roam with ghosts.

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