Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saved by Pipes and Ignorance

When I hear the water rushing, carrying waste through the pipes,
And it’s the small dark hours still, and most are still in bed asleep,
A thought occurs, a shudder at the thought, that soon that rush
And gurgling echo will become a thund’ring roar through miles of pipe
As millions wake up and shower and drive to power breakfasts
In sleek cars whose massive mufflers dim a hellish roar that, if it could,
Would cleave the very sky.

We lift our eyes adoringly at human grandiosity
And worship our genius, while we ignore the wastes that flow
Down from our bodies into tubes. But were in not for saving pipes
And walled lakes where raw sewage rests, awaiting its timely release
Into our riverbeds, why then we would be forced to feel
A certain shy humility. We save our pride by using pipe,
Keeping all that out of sight, the body’s nasty turbulence,
Practicing willed ignorance.


  1. (Monique here, using John's account)

    What an odd but pleasant piece. Mind you, our own very recent connection to the miles of pipe make us still appreciative of the system... Humbly so.

  2. Two years late as I am today rereading my favorite blog posts, I come across this one. I am ever so pleased to have learned since this date that UNICEF has declared a "World Toilette Day"...yes! November 19th, 2013 was the designated day of celebrating this sanitation facility... and with very good reason, too. Sadly not all of us have yet been "saved by pipes..."


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