I write for the men of a thousand years hence—
and the women—and their healthy children.
And if you are suffering, if night is day
and day is night,
I will drink the cup of despair with you,
for I have tasted of despair.
But…, if you are happy and wise,
may my words animate your limbs;
may you dance—as I danced
in the spring of my days.
In your dancing, my words will come again
even as they came from the Old Ones long ago
to fill my cup with dreams and desire.
From the grunting in the caves,
from the maker of the paintings
and the reaping praise of critics–
these words, crystallized over lifetimes,
will come again….
Outside, howling winds; inside, warming fire.
And if you have kept the flame of comradeship,
in spite of arrows and explosions;
if you have nurtured the flame–
I send salutations from a blood-drenched past.
if blood has drowned your best
and you find these strange and faded words—
on microchips, or chipped on cavernous walls–
then you have fulfilled the worst of us;
then: drink these words with gall!
May these words burn and die in your guts
for they and you have dwelt enough in darkness.
Enmity and fear will have hollowed us all.
Let the words burn and fester like a dying star.
Then, my son, my daughter: you will confirm
we could not shake free
of the chrysalis of war, entombing us,
Never forgive us!