by Selia Qynn 1990

I saw a woman in a dream
Sculpting a work of art it seemed,
Of a giant bird whose wings would span
A half a mile or more of land.
The detail on this mighty bird
Was so intricate it became absurd;
Built of plastics on which we've dined
And crystals which we had mined.
The plastic part was being welded;
And the crystals were all being melted.
The bird should fly in the designing,
But the materials used were too confining.
It seemed half-alive in its stately grace,
Suspended there in time and space.
And a newspaper clip that told the tale
Was posted on a nearby rail:
"It seems to have this longing look
Of one who'd been a fool,
Of knowing it was meant to fly,
And couldn't budge a molecule.
I have this hollow spot inside;
I'm hungry in this hell.
Longing always to be full --
Have something in this shell."
"I'm hungry and you look like lunch!"
I know it sounds absurd.
But the snail replied "I'm much obliged."
And crawled into the bird."
This dream is not so cryptic.
I understand quite well --
The snail became the bird,
And the bird became the shell.
You may not want to see it,
But it couldn't be more clear;
We have met the enemy and he is us,
Just look into the mirror.
The message is a warning one
Though the lyrics may sound sweet;
We build a prison from the inside out
'Cause we are just what we eat.
So if you dare, go take a look,
But do not act in haste;
You'll see the angel who ate the swine
Still trapped here in the waste.