How strange and terrifying transition,
The promise of rebirth; the fear of death.
Such a wide and shifting panorama
Of chimeric hue and substance.
Old tyrants dethroned, old worlds incinerated.
Old laws revoked and new ones in birth.
Am I who I was? Am I who I am?
Am I even who I will be?
How reassuring the notion of self,
What a cozy illusion,
For we are not stones but flames,
And the world not an island but a sea.
I stood before the bronzed image of Caesar,
Frozen imperiously, the guardian of the old order.
What a stern and dignified companion,
A man standing firm against the elements,
Heedless of the thundering of rush-hour traffic,
And the sharp cry of "Last call 'till closing."
But this is not life, for we are not statues,
And Rome has fallen and Caesar is dead.
Blame not the Goths for such wanton destruction,
For no rock can hold back the wheel of change.
George Chadderdon © 1992