James Kavanaugh

The bulldozers are out in all their primitive fury
Like the frothing metal monsters with steel claws
and crunching jaws, prehistoric beasts reborn,
To avenge the earth which once destroyed them.
Ready like Pharaoh's slaves to level mountains,
fill the valleys an make straight the pathways
of the kings,
To build a barracks for people of prefabricated dreams,
To build them row on row like crosses built in Arlington
or Flanders – a subtle symbol of life's sameness
and the imminence of death,
To rip away the memories of earth's motion stored
in mountains and to scatter sculpture monuments
of sweating glaciers,
To put aside the wisdom of the wind and the rain, and crush
the contours shaped by time and the sensuous rhythm
of nature's fondling,
To rip the shoulders form the hills, pull arms and legs
from sockets, to gouge earth's eyes, to scar its face,
And to claw away the furrows made by the flowing tears
of spring and wonder,
To break its bones, tear out is hair, and peel away
the skin until it's tragic and faceless,
As docile and dull, as lifeless as the homes themselves
and bland enough to build on.
Then to bring in the plastic surgeons with artificial limbs
and spongy breasts and straightened noses,
Their plastic and plaster, wire and thread transfusions,
Sperm banks and blood banks, their cuts and their casts
and sterile gowns, their drugs and anesthesia.
There is no music in the motor nor magic in the hammer's
drumming, hardly a place for a craftsman with only
Barracks to be assembled, camps and planned compounds,
depots of the dispossessed and alien.
Love does not live in the walls nor in the air,
only sameness.
Houses well content to find a plot flat enough
to please the plumber, to satisfy the hungry builder
and the computerized, avenging architect.
And when the earth is silent and the screams are gone,
When the groaning has ceased and the salt is trampled
in the ground,
And when the fences are built with fear and pools
filled with tears,
Then the tents are ready for the troops and a man will
tend his grass and tailored flowers
Where once there was carefree celebration.
Then the dozers drift away like death to build
more burial sites, while Leviathan and brontosaurs,
dictators and dinosaurs avenged.
Man has made his mausoleums and will pay handsomely
to rest there,
Assembled with other lonely men and women
impatiently awaiting death!