TWO LINES a poem by Edwin Kagin


The future waits in one of two great lines, two endless human queues

And each of us is in one line—there is no other line to choose.


Our journey as human creatures has fashioned these two lines

With very different features following very different signs.


Through kingdoms and through ages these lines unbroken run

One line snaking into darkness; one line straining for the sun.


One line holds shining visions of what humankind can be

When at last we make decisions free of myth and tyranny.


Our race, our creeds, our sex, and the religions we proclaim

In this line yield to human needs we cannot always name.


Some careless few within this line may hurt you and make you cry

But villains in the other line will kill you to watch you die.


Those marching in that other line seek to control not to achieve

By trying to deceive our minds with lies that they believe.


Prizing money over friendship, and power over human need

They do not work for kinship but only for their greed.


Anyone can leave their line, whenever they see fit

If perhaps they change their mind, from facts, or acts or wit.


No one must stay within a line where rules are learned by rote

That dictate how we all must live, and breed, and love, and vote.


In the coming great election, one line will finally decide

If our future takes direction from the bright or evil side.


Set aside all pious passion of who you are and where you have been

What now must be in fashion is “Which line are you in?”


How will you answer to the future when a new world starts to dawn

How will you tell your children which side of history you were on?


There are but two great questions to be raised when life must end,

“How did you use your roads and days?” And “Which line were you in?”


By Edwin Kagin


Copyright by Edwin Kagin, September 2008.

Permission is granted for non-profit reproduction.

If you make money on this, I want some of it. ek


  1. rapiddominance says

    You’re like a hunter who has a bear chasing his ass and yet continues the hunt for deer regardless.

    Are flags not popping up in your mind? Is your subconscious NOT delivering the mail to your conscious awareness?

    After these 7 or so troubling days since “On Homosexuality” are you not experiencing “pangs” as you generalize the religious community as barbaric and murderous?

    But its not like I’m a psychologist. Perhaps some people DO thrive in situations where its “one man against the world.”

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