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Acid Rain on Sherwood Forest


The longbow, one would say, is natural;

Is an appropriate technology.

The crossbow is the downward path to Krupp.

It has a trigger, eyepiece; has a stock

Firearms have learned from.  One would say.  One would,

However, be quite wrong, as Baron Krupp

Might point out.  Compound bows are anything

But natural, as they are laminate,

And what is natural about a graft?

We have, as usual, let sentiment

Define the natural.  Our sympathies

Are not with progress but with Robin Hood,

Who is himself mere envy wearing tights.

What has redistribution of the wealth

To do with archery?  It was the Krupps

Who had the world's first pension plan, and built

Its first real worker housing.  Had sick leave?

We cannot speculate what was the life

Of Merry Men grown old.  The arrow flies,

An infantry's or Time's, and how the wound

Arrives is of no consequence.  Had Cain

No weapons but his hands he would be Cain,

And Abel dead of strangulation.  Child

Of nature, little boy of five or six,

Why have you pulled the rubber suction cup

From off your arrow and begun to sharpen it?


Turner Cassity



From The Destructive Element: New and Selected
Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, 1999.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

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