Culture is

A circular staircase rickety and thin,

Turning back upon itself; containing,

Scattered on its treads,

The mud and butt-ends of indifferent multitudes.

It is an edifice built with

Thumb-smashings, cursings,

Frenzy and broken heads

By a few, laboring in midst of

Others who stand aside and cry

Oh God! Save us!

It is the scarred passage left behind

By those who have passed upward to the

Cleansing stars.


© Russ Lewis October 12, 1964