No one else to blame

After we released the first of seals,
the fossil beast of white was loose.
The sky was pale and from the sea
we heard the waters groan.

The first of heats was bulbous pestilence
grown from swamps
mosquitoes, rats and flies.
The rivers filled with corpses. Rot.

   But some of us survived
   pretending we had found a cure,
   and thus we broke the second seal.

The second of the heats was red
a righteous anger raising from the south.
and there were daggers, guns and
swords and bombs,

   We fought and were
   victorious because we lost
   the least,
   and therefore broke another seal.

The third among the heats was a black
starvation, when
from our soil too scorched
we could not harvest grains.

   We were a few survivals
   digging graves,
   but being skin and bones we thought
   that there was nothing left to lose
   and thus we broke the last remaining seal.

The last among the heats was death,
a blinding paleness, lidless eye.
But only in the face of death
we realized:
the lamb was lost
we did it all ourselves.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov

After reading Brendan’s prompt on climate change at toads I could not avoid reflecting on the similarities between what we are doing and the descriptions in Exodus. I will link this poem to Poetry Pantryy as well, before going on a four week’s hiatus.
—-
July 15, 2017

36 responses to “No one else to blame

  1. Very grim poem to start your hiatus with, but it seems to be true. This also reflects writings in the Reverlation of Jesus Christ as told to the Servant John.

  2. It does help to find the mythological background for this — both in apocalypse and redemption. Nothing can be healed that is not fully broken first though, and you achieve it.

  3. Creepy, dude. But I love these sections:

    “the fossil beast of white was loose”

    “The sky was pale and from the sea
    we heard the waters groan.”

    “pretending we had found a cure,
    and thus we broke the second seal” (I like picturing these as sea animals)

    “victorious because we lost
    the least”

    “The third among the heats was a black
    starvation”

  4. There are definitely similarities to the Exodus story. I think this time, however, the consequences will be more dire….and no one will be around to tell the tale.

    Have a good time away, Bjorn. You work hard & a break will be good.

  5. Don’t know the background to your poem..but I think it is a powerful reminder of the destruction man is bringing upon himself…and not too far away it is too!

  6. This is a great and relevant poem of the near future, it is such a pity the the greed of some is accompanied by blindness.

  7. So true, Bjorn, there is no one else to blame. But you’ve given me nightmares in the daytime and it’s only 8.48 on a Sunday morning! The biblical link is very apt.

  8. “the lamb was lost”…the deathly blow and no way to redemption. No wonder cataclysm is upon us. Such vile species is this mankind. The lines are visceral.

  9. This gave me chills, Bjorn. How well you narrate the inexorable arrival of the four horsemen. I was especially taken by this aside:

    We fought and were
    victorious because we lost
    the least…

    Any victory will be Pyrrhic, I fear.

  10. Losing the least has always seemed to me to be the oddest most tragic victory . . . May we never get so far to the brink that opening the seals and bringing on the death of the lamb is the only way to go! Of course, in a way we have already done that and do it again and again. Chills.

  11. Brilliant! I so admire poetry that ventures into the scholarly beyond for inspiration. A fascinating piece – a stunning portant – imbued with haunting images that plunge to great depths.

  12. Fantastic! Hitting on the parallels between Exodus and climate change with history repeating itself, and our failure to learn from our mistakes made this piece brilliant.

  13. A very strong and beautiful poem, Bjorn–the last stanza sums it all up in a gruesome and chilling fashion–and this ” We fought and were
    victorious because we lost/ the least…”

  14. Epic! A prophetic warning. It gets our attention when you write it in such biblical poetic terms. Our downfall is that we never thought it could happen to us.

  15. ha – i think we could never do it ourselves – if the lamb is lost – everything’s lost – luckily it isn’t … yeah

  16. Beautiful, Bjorn. Forboding write..well executed poem….I love ‘hearing the waters groan”.
    Such awareness of earth’s dire fragility.

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