Richard L. Matta


Self-Conducted Symphony


Picture tightropes strung between skyscrapers spanning the globe.  Career government servants and diplomats taking the delicate walk for the sake of their country’s profits and growth. It’s a captivating sight this balancing act, as we watch from our little independent castles dotting the land from border-to-border and sea-to-sea.  

Yet from outside the glass globe looking in—blades slicing through oceans, more often nuclear attack submarines than whales or sharks. Forests and parks await buzzing saws, their trees fated to bend on knees. The sage grouse crashes into dry-throated wetlands, and pelicans gobble plastics. Meanwhile, the cooking sky coughs up carbon and burps methane. The albatross drops feather hints, but profits are eye patches, dollars stuffed in ears.

Imagine the castles connected, not by plan nor culture, but by the chaos of unpredictable, powerful nature…forcing humanity to accept we share what we breathe, eat, drink, and what makes us sick. See masks cover fear and uncertainty—strapped on dependency—castles feeling more like isolated rooms in poorly managed mansions resting on a fragile foundations. Tiny particles a thousand times smaller than the diameter of human hair, resembling spiky gumballs—seizing social machinery, bringing economies to a standstill, and wreaking havoc on human beings.

Tightrope walkers point balancing sticks to printing presses where trillions of dollars of debt is created, stuffed into leaking holes, doled in a scramble because…well…insurance premiums weren’t paid…spent instead on militaries, masks and research to protect against use of man-made biological and chemical agents, rather than nature herself, who now runs rampant, in a relatively innocuous form compared to what she’s capable of.  

Sometimes it takes a crisis to create community…the glass globe now shaken, unsettled, silenced by shock. Look at our commonality, see the concern…how the masks we strap on our faces don’t hide mortality, our common human conditions.

And that is the secret to the glass globe’s music key…people—

not institutions or governments—across the world talking, sharing, creating, writing the notes, the words to produce a symphony of powerful voices connecting, preserving our earth and humanity.


Richard L. Matta is an American writer living in San Diego, California. After attending college at the University of Notre Dame, he practiced forensic science. Now active in poetry circles, his poems appear in the San Diego Poetry Annual and The DewDrop, with pending publications in Healing Muse and California Quarterly.

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