The Cities Rise, the Cities Fail and Fall
The cities rise, the cities fail and fall.
Where once the towers rose with blazing light
now ivy grows, and trees, and songbirds call
as cougars prowl the walks in lampless night.
The cities rise, decline, and fall to earth:
no whisper now remains of all their roar,
no memory of human hope and mirth,
forgotten all like crumbling sand on shore.
The cities rise: we build each one to dust.
In time all human loyalty and trust,
and all design, will shatter, fracture, break,
and fall to dreamless sleep -- and never wake.
The last, most lonely road
beneath the spreading oak
to shadow turns;
I take a deeper breath
and walk that hidden path
until the end,
to what far foreign sands
or what uprising land
I do not know.
But still I take a breath
and walk through shadow-death
to dreams of gold.