Liber Jonae CAPUT FIVE Page LAMED



_____LAMED_____

But why blame God? You set yourself up.

First, no prevention. Second, no cure.

Nothing new's learnt without bangs to shins.

Even a child knows to punish the rock
That plants itself in paths in such a way
It shoves its edge into innocent flesh.
You wrest such rocks up from beds they've made,
Cast them down over cliffs, into pits,
Onto an alien gravel far from kin,
Then send down curses to harry their tails.

But there's less, parrot, to heaven and earth
Than what your shifty transistors impute,
Less to what's real than what there appears.
Undergo therapy and learn the truth!
Nature cares nothing for harms we suffer.

No. Nature's not neutral, Marguerite,
For nature exists to teach our kind pain,
To teach us the paths that pick through the rocks,
The park paths that wind through wound displays.
And that's the kind of thing nature admires,
The random patterns rock placements make.
It carves them on brains with its ad hoc tools.
Nature's plan is to hunt mankind down
And map its beauty on networks of nerves.
And sure, we're nature too, the target part,
The involuted part, the part that hurts.
And though nature is bent against flesh,
We'll still do our part for cartography,
And come singly from slings or catapults,
Or grouped, falling from cliffs in avalanche,
To close those roads maps once showed cleared.

Some, it seems, have low tolerance for pain.
Only wimps would choose this as First Cause.
Our science, perhaps less easily bruised,
Thinks nature to be wholly insensate,
Without much interest in making plans.

Prophets, Marguerite, know nature best.
It's best, with nature, to just ignore pain,
Which is what your science, unknowing, does.
Your best defense if nature comes prowling
Is pretend her indignities mean nothing
And take a pensive, if not stoic, stance.
Nature is neutral unless fuss is made,
Unless protests are raised when hurt is felt.
Fight or flee, my girl, and nature attacks.
Knock one knave down and two spring up.
Offense always targets those who react,
The skin that flinches draws the most stings.

I only meant, she said, it does nothing
To serve the cause that human justice serves.
I meant, for that cause, there's no effect.

And that's why humans need heaven's help,
To get the most effect for the least cause,
To steer nature toward cosmic revenge.
Vengeance is best served if served wholesale,
Justice served from above, served with a smile,
Served with carpet bombing around the clock,
Or served with gas, radiation and plague.
It's best served by just pushing a button,
Or flicking the switch a contractor's wired.
It's best served up cold, without rancour,
And that requires higher, sterner powers.
Retaliation isn't human work,
For nothing connects second crimes to first
Except within inhuman spirit worlds.
If ever to rise screaming from runways,
Even the worst furies will need assist
From some other, supernatural force.



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