mene mene tekel upharsin
Contrails, long-haired comets of bald daylight,
Criss-cross the sky, white pick-up sticks, white straws
Scattered by pitchforks of technology,
White wakes of speedboats chasing across lakes.
These are my divine reassurances,
These, not rainbows, my promises from God.
These are my visitors, omens, angels,
Heavenly messengers who comfort me.
And why not? To be sure, they're just jet planes,
Peopled machines piloted by yet more
People and machines, none to do with me,
Nor I with them, and for most of my life
I've vaguely resented their trace in my skies,
Except when I was aboard one of them.
Today, their ubiquity consoles me,
And their meaningless anonymity
Hints at everything true about this world,
As their indecipherable scribbling
That ever so slightly alters weather
Resembles the Hand, writing on the wall.