A long hungry wind with a wide mouth
swept through the wounded land, swallowing
the last lingering words of violence and hatred
shouted out in the dark by the angry ones.
Animals that still resisted being named
crouched between the few remaining trees,
studiously avoiding each other’s eyes.
It was as if they were all pondering deep thoughts,
but that may be just the way it seemed, when in reality
they were merely imagining their next meal.
The harsh business of the talking ones
was, after all, none of their concern –
let the wild winds blow, they’ll wait it out.
When it was over, names wouldn’t matter anyway,
although it’s not as if they ever actually did.
Before the advent of the strange naming game,
it seemed that there was a lot less conflict,
more “live and let live”.
Once the naming fever took hold, everyone
began eyeing each other with more suspicion,
imagining new ways to discriminate, new holes
in which to pigeon each other, so to speak.
Well, one name led to another, until pretty soon
it wasn’t just names people were tossing at each other,
but sticks and stones, and that was just the start.
When the elements themselves couldn’t stand
the atrocious commotion for one day longer,
they conspired to eliminate the pestilence.
It commenced with fire and water, volcanoes
and tsunamis, followed by great earthquakings
and severe droughts, and then came the hungry winds,
swallowing the last remnants of violence and hatred
once shouted out in the dark by the angry ones.
At last there was only a profound silence,
the same state in which we now exist.
This silence has no name, nor will it ever.