by Margaret Jane Jones



I gaze across the wasted plain—

A dry land south of Damascus.

I want to smell the sweet perfumes

And moistair of its oases.

I want to hear tall grasses sway

As sheep feed and camels fatten.

I want to see golden hamsters

Basking in the Syrian sun.


But, that era has passed away,

Gone with its gazelles, now mostly

 Found in booksof ancient times,

 Like The Bible,and tales told

 Under brightstars of desert nights

And wornwinds singing aged songs.


In its stead, I look out upon

A boulder-strewn, lifeless desert

Like a moonscape— burnt brown as death.

No lizard darts from rock to rock.

No pastures grow. No small creature

Races off to out-run the fox.

The fierce heat burns. There is no shade.


That great barren span on the road

Between Damascus and Amman

Haunts me—as in a dreaded dream

With warning sign: DangerAhead.


Now, I dwell in my native land,

Wrapped in its rich cloak of beauty—

America—a land to tend

And keep like a lovely garden.


I want to care for our forests

Of redwoods, cedar, pine, and oak.

I want to guard our green meadows,

Abloom with flowers late in spring—

Like ox-eye daisies clad in white.


I am one of seven billion

In our world, and, we multiply.

We multiply. We multiply.

How long can we keep our Eden

From vanishing and becoming

A thousand years hence, only a

Far-fetched fairy tale for children?


COPYRIGHT© 2010-2012
Margaret Jane Jones.
All Rights Reserved.