Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Shades of Morality"

This poem came out of the June 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie, [personal profile] mdlbear, and [personal profile] corvi. It also fills the "high and low" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.


"Shades of Morality"


There are white dove wings
and gray gull wings and
black bat wings.

There are good people
and ordinary people
and evil people.

There are angels high in heaven
and mortals on Earth
and demons below in Hell.

None of this means anything
to the atheist who walks the streets
at dusk and at dawn.

Avani does not believe
in angels or demons,
only in people.

She does not believe in castes either;
she speaks to the Brahmins and
touches the Untouchables.

She deals equally with the Hindus
and the Christians and
the Muslims.

It is all the same to her --
she believes that morality
is something we make.

Avani alone has no wings
or tail, no vanes of fur
or of feathers.

The possibility is always there,
hanging in the air, a fingertip
beyond her reach.

It is the intensity of
her belief which holds
the Fledging at bay.

There is but one question
and her answer to it
is always no.

Avani is not even tempted;
mystical enlightenment
holds no appeal for her.

She believes only in people,
and human beings,
do not bestow wings.

She raises her eyes
to the distant glint
of an airplane.

People do not need
the wings of birds or bats
in order to fly.

* * *

Notes:

The caste system in India is old and complex.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_India

Humanism and atheism are belief systems based on mortal rather than divine foundations. Their principles include morality without reference to gods or demons.
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Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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