We built it with the gears of materialism,
protect it with the plates of consumerism,
then we fuel it with some avarice and trap some people inside,
a few hundred thousand to try and keep it running.

We cover all the highways with our trucks and trailers
just to blanket every truckyard with work we can’t get to
because no one really learned what a limited space is.
Abandon all logic and practice some improv.

And all of this before the demand would shoot up
with a pandemic that would lock everybody in their homes.
The machine is too gigantic, can’t turn on a dime,
can’t turn in a mile, can’t turn on a planet.

Got news of a man, a respectable leader
who fell between the gears and got ripped to shreds.
One of his solutions to just one of our problems
bottomed out and started draining company dollars,

but how does one guard against the imminent collapse
from the intractable weightiness of unforeseen growth?
This hopeless man surrounded by cliffs on all sides
had to take a step, which fall could he survive?

He chose wrong, leaving me and the multitudes
to slave away at the whole world’s need to consume.
A suffocation environment, promising little
besides eventual death or soul destruction.

Yet somehow the machine never quite tips over
and most of us find ways to slip between the gears.
We keep it rolling, however labored the giant is,
anonymous heroes of the earth’s rotation.

I fear the day when we discover the force that finally halts us.
We are so ingrained in society that such a heavy impact
could spread out and level everything around us,
for a machine too big to run is also a machine too big to stop.