benjamin weinberg
2 min readSep 4, 2022
Photo by author, Painting by Jorge image used with permission from the artist

too late,
I see Nero on the rooftop, watching a tide of flame.
Did he imagine the end was his to call,
his tune the wind.
In the home, every woman queen, any man, a king
but only the imperator can bring down the house.
Did he revel,
did he pose,
above such a splendor of destruction.

What did they say, those below?
Did they call out for him to flee,
did they cry for help,
call fie and shame?
After all, only a god could stand so high
and care so little.

Later, they may ask us the same.
What were you thinking as it burned?
As the tide rose,
what soundtrack did you lay down?

And we, the bucket list driven,
obsessed with destinations,
posing with Galapagos tortoises, northern lights, glaciers,
One more round, one last dance
before the band packs it in, before the gavel comes down,
before it goes up in flames.
Noah’s ark in reverse,
Long train bound for shadows,
Our legacy? Kilroy was here.
Graffiti scrawled on the dark side of the moon.

What did I pass on to help them on their way,
all those who are already late,
scattered crumbs on the children's’ table
bequeathed withered landscapes,
stunted vines,
grass and weeds where water flowed,
dusty solar panels, sprung up like shanty towns where crops once grew.

Will an insta gram of what it was,
be any consolation
momento mori to tell our story
the jet set kings and queens.
We, that left them bitter fumes and angry skies
and dreams denied.

benjamin weinberg

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.