America's Wool Gathering



 by Mary Wacaster

She sat and dreamed of days gone by
When no problems beset the hearts of man.
The crops filled miles and grew so high,
A delight as far as the eye could scan.
But this was a new land at that time,
And a man that filled the virgin land with hope
Filled the air as he worked with song and rhyme,
Conquering all with only gun, plough, and rope.
Guns; yes, guns. Now hatred flares high
Against mankind that kills and snarls.
Brother against brother for a bale of rye;
Aggressive toward all because of their quarrels.

"Baa, baa, black sheep"

Times ago were neither soft nor lazy,
But hard work satisfied man's flesh and soul.
Winters bitter cold and summers hot and hazy,
Yet love sprang from the well of a goal.
But the country then was relatively young,
And visions were dawn's cherished rays of hope.
Hearts were filled with laughter and songs were sung,
And they conquered with gun, plough, and rope.
Ploughs; yes, ploughs. Now lying quietly aside
Against mankind that has opened a deep hunger,
Not just a struggle for food, but also for pride,
And remembered days when they were younger.

"Have you any wool?"

But how were there still cries even then
That from human flesh rang loud and clear?
Was this some hidden, blackened sin
That caused Fear and Hate their heads to rear?
But there was virtue then, blooming young and pure,
That gave mankind a voracious healthy hope
And grew strong men for a country strong and sure
To conquer all with gun, plough, and rope.
Rope; yes, rope. That scarred many a neck and heart
Against humanity that mankind has blatantly bled
All their lives, and as cancer and the wart,
Grows within 'till all the mechanism is dead.

"Yes, sir! Yes, sir!"

Life was slow in coming, quick to die
And struggle with flesh to gain spiritual peace
Left mankind wrapped in a gray and silent cry,
Drawing problems forth with rapid increase.
And now the ravaged land grows old and gray.
Hope grows dim as strength falls low.
Men that once were strong became a prey
For all that seek their own glory, sure and slow.
Guns, ploughs, ropes; yes, all are here still,
Wrapped in bags of discontent, despair, and hate,
Awaiting a day of use subjective to man's will,
Stamping the end of man's ill-begotten fate.

"Three bags full."

So if discontent brazenly blankets all the land
And mankind seeks beyond that which he has won,
Yet finds himself standing with empty hand,
The battle seems sour to him after it is done.
ow she is grasping butterflies with persistence
From the air of time without thought of consequence
Neither learning from the cocoon of existence
Nor desire of struggle above quiescence.
Look now! From end to end what gain has been
Gotten within the scope of the time you see?
Who has had the greatest hope we have seen?
Yet how neglected could it ever be?

"One for the Master"

So far as the eye envisions land everywhere
How desolate lies her mother, Earth, now
Where once the fragrance of life hung softly there.
It filled the heart with joy, yet she failed her vow,
For crowds wander aimlessly around each other
Watching closely against any foreign thought or word
Afraid to loose the apron string or venture further
Than from the presence of those already heard See now!
Are visions and dreams only for the great?
To take and mold their world as they deem fit?
Are the lowly worthy only the tortuous wait
As the humble beggar left at the gate to sit?
"One for the Dame"
Now there comes a sound that breaks her dreams
And reason begins to shape her aimless thought
For fulfillment of a plan for her to bream
The corroded hull of the vow which she wrought.
So her eyes fall upon her oldest son;
The one she gave Humanity for a name.
For it is in his victory her war is to be won.
And in his death, if it be, she will lose her fame.
Listen now! For all is repeated more than twice.
The guns, ploughs, and ropes are just a toy
For maturity, an uncomely learning device
For Humanity, who is yet a wee little boy.
"And one for the little boy"

So now she must stop all her vain dreaming;
To be sober and search every thought and all parts;
To yield a response to all threats and screaming;
And to understand love for burdened hearts.
For now is a time to search and to shield;
A time to rise up and bear armor for a cause,
And to wisdom and love, mankind must yield
To stand for righteousness without a pause.
Hear now! How cries her lonely little boy
Who stands forlorn and without hope in the lane,
Begging for the hope of redeeming lost joy
Without despair through human and spiritual love again.

“Who cries in the lane."