A Time for Reason


Carl Hitchens



When reason is not enough

And time is the judge

how do we vanish the weeds of arms

from our gardens of hope

that imperil the flowering of life

with their roots of extinction?


How do we change a world economy

which feeds upon itself

and outlaw cannibalism as the rule

for monetary exchange?


Where do we find a reprieve

from a sentence of death

imposed by the judge

of our own self-destruction —

a stay of execution

by the whirlwinds of planetary retribution

for the toxic cesspools

we’ve wrought upon the earth?


When reason is not enough

And time is the judge,

how do we alchemize

the blood of rifles and bullets

into the ectoplasm of spiritual love?


How do we open the shutters of denial

by which the Powers-to-be

batten on the working poor,

taking away the welfare of choice

for the welfare of bondage?


What do we preserve for posterity,

when life is sucked out of life

in a clash of feuding notions

about when life begins and ends?


Trading lives for progress,

embalming the appearance of life

to preserve an ideology of death —

undergoing some aberrant joy

for the grace of salvation

in the midst of self-destruction.


When reason is not enough

and time is the judge,

can we slow the wheel of fate?


Can time redeem,

rather than punish —

be slowed down

for wisdom to triumph,

for the heart to conquer the mind,

and for feeling beyond emotion

to rule our thoughts … and actions?


When reason is not enough

And time is the judge,

Will time … give us time?