We live in a time when deadly peril is described as debt crisis, plummeting oil prices and various other temporary and historically almost meaningless random motions of the financial and political systems. Consider the year end outlook of the people of the Mediterranean in the sixteenth century. Muslim corsairs and Ottoman fleets sailed their galleys with impunity, taking coastal villages and killing all the elderly, selling the women and children into slavery and chaining the men to the benches of their galleys. The effect of plummeting oil prices on the global banking system is laughable compared to what people endured in the good old days.

The galleys silent run up on the beach
The torch and sword for everyone in reach
While further north the rains had failed again
And coming death was not an if but when
Religious faith meant death to infidels
Depending if ‘twere minarets or bells
Disease endemic took the young away
The question but tomorrow or today
We live today without a thought for those
Who lived through winters where the cattle froze
Whose blood runs through the generations yet
To wonder why we think a crisis debt
Or falling prices hurting global banks
Instead of on our knees and giving thanks

Leave a Reply