Sometimes, it crashes. The bird bashes
Into the windshield, the airplane smashes,
Everything stops—but a plume of smoke--
And the light crumbles into ashes.
That package you were rushing to
Deliver, you sag, you fall to your knees,
You crawl to the curb, everything
Has turned into facsimiles.
Your hands are weak and numb. You think:
Life that has made me sick can make
Me well. And in the center of the gray
Chaos forms the tree in daybreak.
Even when the aperture
Is small, you still can take a photo,
You will still see the light, the rushing
Stream, the streamers of Kyoto,
And everything you do, every
Movement of your hands is light,
But not yet, not until
The white mountains rise in flight.
But the darkness still fills your throat.
I know why we are here, to hew
A rock from this quarry, to carry
A priceless treasure in a canoe.
You were all there, weren’t you,
From the start? Now it’s harder, now
The tribe is hidden, now every
One behind his own plow.
But listen, we’re no longer children
And we can free the sun that sank
Deep into the soil, and find
The silver in the riverbank.
Yaacov David Shulman