Matthew Shorter

Human Nature

Adults always warn children

not to play with fire

yet not even the perils of a match

or a abandoned campfire

smoldering free of vigilance,

waiting to capitalize on any lapse,

any opportunistic turn of fate,

can compare with the cruel imposition of

rules, deigning to control

and subvert the drunken whims of nature,

a futile shackle on the designs of

the rivers surging, the forests blazing.


Still though, rules continue to be forged to dominate

the fickle world outside.

Not even the infernal light of the trees

engulfed in flame can illuminate

the vain despot who, in desperate grasps

to obtain elusive control, attempts to subdue

what goes far beyond

the flooding rivers and burning forest.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.