It's an old truth that all towers fall.
Everything we build, we build from rubble.
Even the first stone was fractured from a child
of a star. With our fingernailed hands
we placed it on the altar of the world.
This is the root of ritual: to build a religion
of work. Babel's foundation is laid first
in the mind. A design translating the world
into terms we understand, into heavy things
we cast out into reason's borderlands.
We built with these stones of the mind,
laid with disciplined precision, with wills bent
toward a distant and unseen goal. Perhaps
our great sin was not in our attempt to reach God
but in foolishly imagining heaven
to be so close by.
This poem was written for a textbook on Engineering Culture. It prefaces the final chapter on "Engineering Imagination."
I don't really have a great deal to add to the comments above except to say that I love the idea of this being in an Engineering textbook. It's kind of a clash of three competing epistemologies: science, religion, and poetry.
I completely agree with what Elmara and Halatia said. This is an amazing piece, brillant and it shows us another way to look at science and religion. Another way to look at almost everything. I just love it!
i worship your talent and pray for the day i'll be able to write half as well as you.
Absolutely stunning. I love the way you blend science and religion.