Thursday, June 18, 2009

if it were otherwise

You can live a lifetime
and at the end of it know
more
about other people
than you know about

yourself

You learn to watch other
people
but you never watch
yourself because you

strive

against loneliness
If you read a book or
shuffle
a deck of cards or
care for a dog you are
avoiding yourself

The abhorrence of
loneliness is as natural
as wanting to live at all

If it were otherwise men
would never have bothered
to make an alphabet

nor

to have fashioned words
out of what were only
animal sounds nor

crossed continents

each man to see
what the other
looked like


-- Found in Beryl Markham's *West with the
Night,* excerpted in the Summer 2009 issue
of Lapham's Quarterly

Posting by cameraphone inbound to Denver.

1 comment:

Anali said...

Beautiful poem. Very thought provoking...

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