The curtained windows, the brightly painted façade,
Invites one to pass though the well-made doors.
So, why am I thinking, as I enter, well-dressed, well-shod
Of termites and roaches, of vermin beneath these floors?
The smiles are gracious, the sincere greeting restores
My thoughts to matters both suitable and kind.
Yet, here with friends good and true, in pours
A sense of death and decay, as if to grind
Away dignity and decorum, all peace of mind.
But the sun shines on, light comes to these eyes
Contemplating the surface and imagining what’s behind
Seeing both marble and dust, flowers and flies.
Who could countenance such a fraud
But an all-seeing, all-forgiving, loving God?
-Kalimat, 157 B.E.
© Larry Kenneth Gates 1999
(Also published in World Order Magazine)