Do you remember when pages had purpose?
     Bought with a price,
          Used sparingly, with great intent and planning?

How monks toiled!
     Candlelit caverns with countless copyists
          Producing manuscripts in unending silence
               (Save the scritch-scritch-scratch of pen on velum).
They quiet themselves that others might speak:
     Ancient texts, preserved for posterity.
A Homer here.
     An Augustine there.
Or greater still, an Illuminated Scripture;
     God’s very breath upon a page!
          The Word made flesh made Word again.

This morning, I sit at the kitchen table,
     Thumbing through the daily mail,
          Picking out the trash.
A flyer here.
     A credit-card offer there.
Pages of words
     and words
          and words
               with trivial purpose and vacuous meaning.

Do you remember when pages had purpose?
     Bought with a price?
          Used sparingly, with great inte

– – –

The poet frowns;
     It had been unnecessary to repeat the third line.
Sighing, he rips the marred sheet from his notebook,
     Crumples it (massacring its feeble body),
          And throws it to the floor.

Then, taking up his pen, he starts anew,
     Spilling ink upon a fresh, blank page.