Today we want very much to pray
but words fail us yet again, and we doubt
God would hear our entreaty anyway,
since this is a disaster of our own making.
This is the problem of free will, as so many
discovered across Europe during the second
of the wars to end all wars, as did the people
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well.
If God listened we would hear a reply:
“You made this mess, it is up to you to fix it
so get on with it, but do wait until
the pandemic subsides a bit more if you would.”
They stood at the altar
of the ancient temple
and prayed for peace.
They lit the joss bundle
and placed it in
the great cast iron burner.
We all bathed in the smoke
of a hundred bombs
falling in perfect harmony.
The saffron robed monks
stoop carefully, dropping
single grains of colored sand
onto the mandala of peace.
They rock gently
as the intricate wheel
takes shape and form.
They are drawn to its center,
closer day by day, countless hours
focussed to a singularity.
They interlace fingers
bow a collective head
and pray silently
for a strong wind.