The Unreal City

In a dream I walked though the unreal city,
Down streets that were silent and desolate.
Stone faces gazed on me without pity,
although I was poor and desperate.

They gazed from towers of marble and glass,
and watched as I wandered the empty lanes.
No one restrained me, they let me pass,
and then returned to their flickering screens.

Over the doors were the names of power:
Xanadu Bank, Mammon Securities,
Ozimandius Insurance Tower,
Iscariot’s Purse Global Equities.

I watched the towers grow and multiply,
and rise up in splendid magnificence:
Alabaster palaces in the sky,
for lords of omniscient opulence.

The towers stood–powerful and permanent.
Ageless against the swirling clouds,
their steel and concrete reigned omnipotent
over the helpless, huddled, plodding crowds.

Overwhelmed, I stumbled along afraid,
and came upon a garden in a square.
A lawn was surrounded by an arched arcade,
An ancient stone fountain stood sentry there.

I sensed a solemn silence in the sun,
except for one white bird still singing low.
On the side, a stairway beckoned down
To subterranean passages below.

I stepped into the darkness and I found
a vast vault above a bottomless abyss.
Light filtered in; and littered all around,
were bones and skulls–scraps of human nothingness.

Then looking up, I saw that the vaults,
spreading far and supporting the city floor,
were ancient, brittle and riddled with faults,
undermining what seemed so real and secure.

I saw how the towers of glass and steel
were built on arches of emptiness.
Their glamor and power were all unreal,
like specters conjured from the dark abyss.

Then I felt a tremor, and in my dream,
an earthquake shook the city, and it broke.
Souls fell into the dark. I heard them scream
as the towers crumbled into dust and smoke.

I rose and returned to the cloistered square,
and waited while the dread and terror passed.
I determined to dwell in safety there,
and build a humble household that would last.