Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself


I wrote this non-rhyming poem after reading Helga Ross' article bearing the same title. Helga and I exchanged messages. Here's the result. Please read her piece. Let her know what you thought.


“Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”

Did He know when He spoke these words
A morning beyond our worst dreams
Would shock past all comprehension?
Humanity devastated
Arrogance, abomination,
Evil behind un-masked faces?

Hope, the fuel that fed survivors
Ordinary people, heroes
In the wreckage, one thought only
To save people they never knew
No matter nationality
Color, creed was not important.

Did he know when he spoke these words
The test of anger’s raw demand
For retribution, for justice
When no real justice can be gained
While people of all nations cry
Against such mad depravity?

What phoenix will rise from ashes
Where innocence was lost in flame?
Beware its soul-felt cries all those
Who knew not the stuff that binds us
To better thought and higher cause
This space in blue where once stood dreams.

A world now called to witness, waits
To see the test of love or hate
For one will speak, the other fail.
Will humans, wretchedly tested
Remember what he said to us
Before he turned the other cheek?
Still there, those Window On The World
His eyes, His heart, His long time grief
Aware of all in hearts of men
The inherent self-destruction
That comes with bitter fruits of hate.
Is death the one who makes us hear?

Who will take the first bite now
That fallen fruit is in the hand
And power to turn the earth to soot
Resides at pain’s once open door?
Who now knows best, who knows more
Than One who spoke this simple phrase?

“Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”


david coyote
September 16, 2001

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