Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The World Would Be a Wilderness

The world would be a wilderness,
A desert island in the sea
Without a postmark or address;
Without man that’s what it would be.
A halfway house on a thoroughfare,
A station only by the way,
As we’d be headed for elsewhere:
A place to visit, not to stay:

Who’d paint it into a landscape?
Without a purpose or a plan
And who’d be there to give it shape?
Is what, the world is without man.
With no impression made by mind;
What kind of world, to be devoid
Of anything marked by mankind:
A satellite or asteroid;

What kind of world, without a farm?
Without a house, without a town,
Without the mark of human charm
Turned topsy-turvy upside down;
What kind of world without a shack?
Without a table, bed or chair;
With nothing on which to look back
To see that somebody was there;

What kind of world without a bowl
For sugar or a china cup,
A flag for flying on the pole
For what goes down or for what’s up;
For sun, for moon, for stars, for sky
As all of these are human things;
Without man for whom they’re known by
The birds are without songs or wings.

For song and flight are for the world
We make of what we find without
Their being there, till they’re unfurled
And tell us what we are about;
There would be no world but for us
To make out what the world is for
Cause it’s not merely what it does—
But by its cipher it shows more.

- Yitzchak Bloom 

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