I looked
On the earth
It was waste and void.

I looked
To the heavens
They had no light.

I looked
On the mountains
They were quaking.

I looked
There was no man
All the birds of the air had fled.

I looked
The fruitful land
Was a desert
All its cities laid in ruins.

At the noise of horseman and archer
Every city takes to flight
They enter thickets
They climb among rocks
All the cities are forsaken
No man dwells in them.

And you, O desolate one
What do you mean that you dress in scarlet
That you deck yourself with ornaments of gold
That you enlarge your eyes with paint?

In vain you beautify yourself
Your lovers despise you
They seek your life.

For I heard a cry
As of a woman in travail
Anguish as of one
Bringing forth her first child.

The cry of the daughter of Zion
Gasping for breath
Stretching out her hands
"Woe is me,
I am fainting before murderers!"
(adapted from the Bible)
© 2000 by Michael J. Farrand

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