With a Whimper

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

~T.S. Eliot from “The Hollow Men”

Of course, the world has never existed without war. One would hope that those who are in leadership positions would pay attention to the mistakes made over the course of history and endeavor never to repeat them.

But the world is too often controlled by hollow men, headpieces stuffed with straw. They want what they want when they want it, no matter the consequences to living breathing human beings or the land where they dwell.

The shadow has fallen in Ukraine at 5 AM this morning with flashes and smoke and destruction.

Life is very long – a crippled 100+ year old apple tree in our farm orchard toppled over in a strong northeaster this week. It had been so fruitful only a few months ago; it was remarkable to find its fallen trunk rotted and hollowed. It could no longer survive the forces of the world around it having hidden its weakness so effectively for so many decades.

Yet it came down, as all hollow things must.

For Thine is the Kingdom, not ours. Anyone who crosses borders in aggression will learn this undeniable history lesson once again. For God’s Kingdom is not hollow, never hollow and is not toppled, no matter what forces beat against it.

God’s Kingdom is forever hallowed. As a result, so are we.

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2 thoughts on “With a Whimper

  1. Perfect, dear Emily!
    Your analogy of the destruction of your property’s fallen aged apple tree caused by inner rot
    and hollowing is ironically perfect for its comparison to our world’s ‘new’ (latest) war — that of Communist Russia against its democratic neighbor, Ukraine.
    To make your point even more memorable you wisely chose T.S. Eliot’s epic historical poem,
    The Hollow Men — tragic and accurate descriptions of War and those who plan and wage it.

    Again, you choose to ‘tell it like it is,’ Emily. No euphemisms needed here. Just the plain TRUTH! (And, it goes without saying: OUR Almighty God WILL have the Last Word!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this post about your hollow tree. We have a similar apple tree that has continued to bloom and bear fruit the 40 years we have lived here. It was full grown and elderly and had a completely hollow branch when we bought our home with a small orchard. Every year we carefully prune it, trying to keep the branch from getting too heavy. Every fall we make cider from its fruit.Seems to me there is a living parable here to encourage us.😊 Peggy MainSent from my Galaxy

    Liked by 1 person

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