2008, XII

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…
Hosea 4:6

We forget the land we stand on
and live from. We set ourselves
free in an economy founded
on nothing, on greed verified
by fantasy, on which we entirely
depend. We depend on fire
that consumes the world without
lighting it. To this dark blaze
driving the inert metal
of our most high desire
we offer our land as fuel,
thus offering ourselves at last
to be burned. This is our riddle
to which the answer is a life
that none of us has lived.

Copyright © 2013 by Wendell Berry. From This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems (Counterpoint Press, 2013). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database