The Priest

The priest is pained
Every inch of his small, shrunken frame
Cries out
For release

From hunger and thirst
And the burdens
Of his long, long journey
It is tempting
To set his burden down
To lay his head upon
The cool, concrete earth
But he brushes temptation aside
Blindly, almost madly, groping
For substance
“Where is God?” he moans.
“God?” Comes the reply.
The priest turns.
A man of thirty years
Stands before him
His appearance is perfect
Description would be a futile attempt
For no two people
Could agree upon his physical charecteristics The

fathers of our fallen age
Would say he was the product
Of the Utopia we tried
To create
The sick
Would have described him
As burly and totally able-bodied
The ignorant
Would gaze in envy
At the bright light which shone in his eyes
And listen, dumbfounded, to his speech
They would call him brilliant
The hideous
Would have seen him
As the manifestation
Of the way they themselves
Wished to appear
It is painful
Just to look at him
Yes, here is a man
Who lives for his day and age
When books
Have been gobbled up
By machines
And faith
Is nothing more
Than a memory
Teachers, doctors, artists
All no longer needed
Locked away forever
Locked away
By the same society
Which once nurtured and protected them
Which once
Stood in awe of their craft
For it was a craft
Which spoke not to the mind
(Which advanced to a dangerous potential over the decades)
But to the heart
To the very soul
Technology is no more the growing tumor
Which it was in the beginning
Now the cancer has spread
Technology is the air we breathe
It is our way of life
Machines are the patron saints
Of our world
And machines
Have no souls
“God?” The man repeats, with malice
Oozing from his lips
“We finished with him years ago.
He’s gone. Dead.”
The priest edges away in horror
“No, no!” he gasps.
“It can’t be! It can’t be true!”
The man sets the priest
Sprawling to the ground
With a sharp kick to the teeth
“Think, you old fool!” The man cried.
“Look around you! Man has everything!
“We have world peace! Diseases have all
Been destroyed! We can genetically
Engineer the perfect child! No more
Hunger! No more suffering!”
There flashes a maniacal light in his eyes
“There is no more need for God… In a world
Such as this one.”
The priest sputters
Spewing blood and teeth
“Blasphemy…” he moans.
“There is always God! We are but his children!”
The man kicks him again
“We’re not children anymore!” the man laughs
“Now we are all the Creator! Now God…
…now God will pray to us!”
The priest’s joints lock
His body convulsing
With agony
“His children…” the priest moans softly
“He is the father… “
More people come
He cries out to them
Cries out for God
They kick
Not cruelly
Not with hate
But instinctively
Soon, their children came
And without thought or emotion
They kick
When they finish
When there is nothing
Left to kick
The first man rubs his hands
As if having completed
Work in a garden
The others do the same
“Well,” he says simply, “let’s finish it.”
And when all was finished
The people thought to themselves
How lucky the priest had been
To have lived in a time
When advancements in technology
Have prevented the decay of a body
That way
A friend or relative can come and see it
Anytime they wish
Not that anybody ever came
To see the bodies
After all, what was the point?
Neglected relics
Of beings now past
They were cold and forgotten
But what did it matter?
It was comforting just to know
They had been taken care of
But no one had any way of knowing
Where all the souls had gone
For it was not a question pondered
In an age
That had found all the answers
If you were to ask someone about the matter,
He would scratch his head
And no doubt ask you
“What is a soul?”
And then you would have to explain
“Oh that.” He would say,
As if speaking of some far off myth
“Well, I don’t really know. Probably
recycled, just like everything else.”
And that would be
The end of it