A light that shines from upstairs
Lights up the ranks of workers on
The sidewalk, and the individual
In Port Elizabeth or Oregon.
These hands that build bridges or
Close boxes, spin wool or blow
Glass, blast foundations, connect
Power stations north of Ontario
Can contain the strike of lightning
That illuminates the street of frantic
Commuters, of antic wine merchants,
Cargo ships heaving across the Atlantic.
Here is a walkway to the government
Building, to the ministry of culture,
A helipad, a gravel road, its symbol
Is the eagle or the bearded vulture.
In the lobby, intelligent men
And women study its paintings and designs.
The plumbing and street lamps,
The townhouses and dens, shrines,
Therapists’ offices, courtrooms,
Are built by workmen on scaffolds,
Announced in the press and by SMS,
And looking past the amethyst curtain folds
We see a cormorant resting in the air,
We fall in love with the sky,
Because it is broad, an intangible dome,
The home of the bee and the dragonfly.
Yaacov David Shulman