The outlook isn’t brilliant for the world at large today.
There are mudslides, floods and hurricanes, that wash whole towns away.
Tsunamis 30 feet and higher sweep up on foreign shores,
But the sun shines bright on Newfoundland, and Big Land Labrador.
The Chinese have the flu again, a volatile mix.
But guess who got the darn stuff first — you’re right, the Chinese chicks!
So when you go to Shanghai next, it doesn’t matter when,
Make sure you’re mixing mainly with the healthy Chinese men.
(Of course I know the difference, ma’am, it’s birds what got the flu.
It’s just a play on words, you see; how stun, my girl, are you?)
But men and women get it, too (that’s not a real good plan),
But still the sun shines bright on Labrador and Newfoundland.
The Texas boys for all their work and unremitting toil
Are used to hitting real rich stuff like Bush’s thick, black oil.
They execute all kinds of folks with much unseemly haste,
But now they see this little town blown up and laid to waste.
Ammonia and fertilizer, such a potent brew!
Took 15 lives and people’s homes — it didn’t matter who.
Disaster doesn’t seem to notice if you’re rich or poor.
But still the sun shines bright on Newfoundland and Labrador.
And now the Boston Marathon with all its hopes in spring,
Comes running through the city streets like puppets on a string.
The very old, the very young — each adult, girl and boy
With promise of a finish line, the promise of much joy.
“Competing is the ultimate, the winning not the game,
We run each mile as if the last we’ll ever run again;”
To say, “I did it!” That’s the thing. “I ran the marathon.”
No thought of death, disfigurement, of terror or of bomb.
But still in tragedy the tale is told in every bloodstained stone,
That some who race life’s finish line now walk to it alone.
The outlook isn’t good at all for much of Earth today.
Where nature’s hard, rough hand must seem to want to make us pay
For sins against its gentler self, or tries to make us see
Its finish line is coming fast and may not gentle be
That mankind’s marginalized will also want their pound of flesh
In ways that won’t leave all of us escaping through their mesh.
But those of us who live in climes far from the troubled sea
In no way should be crying out, “Thank God that isn’t me!”
Instead we should be reaching out ’cross creeds and to our foe
To those whose ways are not our ways, to those we do not know.
So that they may discover having clasped our reaching hand,
“Thank God the sun shines still on Labrador and Newfoundland.”
Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.