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lyrics

I flew to California to see someone I love
And I looked down on the Rockies from forty thousand feet above,
Saw the staggering geometry of ridges, peaks, and bluffs;
I drank it in with greedy eyes, I couldn’t get enough.

Then I thought, it’s only due to human cleverness, it seems,
That I can see these wonders from this chariot of dreams.
We’ve only had this view for, what, a century?
And then I heard a tiny voice that seemed to say to me:

Everything you see, this whole majestic view,
These mountains and these canyons, they were not made for you.
It all came long before, and it will last far longer too.
No this is not your home, so while you’re passing through,
Be gracious, and be courteous, and whatever you do,
Clean up after yourself:
You are a guest.

Way back in the beginning, when Yahweh looked around
At his creation: the forests and the sea and sky and land,
He saw that it was good, and so he gave himself a hand,
But Yahweh still was lonely, so he made himself a friend.

Formed up from the dust, and filled with holy breath,
Yahweh thought, I think that this one here might be the best,
But his new friend looked around with eyes as greedy as death,
So Yahweh looked into those eyes, and this is what he said:

Everything you see, this whole majestic view,
This Paradise, this Eden place, it was not made for you.
It all came long before, and it will last far longer too.
No this is not your home, so while you’re passing through,
Be gracious, and be courteous, and whatever you do,
Clean up after yourself:
You are a guest.

credits

from THE BOTTLENECK and other stories, released April 18, 2017

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Micah Sommersmith Wisconsin

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