Acid Rain on Sherwood Forest
The longbow, one would say, is natural;
Is an appropriate technology.
The crossbow is the downward path to Krupp.
It has a trigger, eyepiece; has a stock
Firearms have learned from. One would say.
However, be quite wrong, as Baron Krupp
Might point out. Compound bows are
But natural, as they are laminate,
And what is natural about a graft?
We have, as usual, let sentiment
Define the natural. Our sympathies
Are not with progress but with Robin Hood,
Who is himself mere envy wearing tights.
What has redistribution of the wealth
To do with archery? It was the Krupps
Who had the world's first pension plan, and
Its first real worker housing. Had
We cannot speculate what was the life
Of Merry Men grown old. The arrow flies,
An infantry's or Time's, and how the wound
Arrives is of no consequence. Had Cain
No weapons but his hands he would be Cain,
And Abel dead of strangulation. Child
Of nature, little boy of five or six,
Why have you pulled the rubber suction cup
From off your arrow and begun to sharpen it?
The Destructive Element: New and Selected
Poems, Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, ©
Reprinted by permission of the author.