It is symbols we worship. Whatever our state,
wherever we lie in the midst of our degenerative process,
we set them up as if they are magical,
like the statue of David by Michaelangelo:
You look at him, body twisted, arm pulled back
in readiness, ready to fling that stone,
and to win, to win, to win that contest.
Whatever your backgrounds
it is the symbols which hold us together.
The gods, now gone, probably forever,
were the earthly grasp of all these signs,
the way withal by which people,
holding hope by a thin string,
could imagine the improbable:
An angry god within the earth, with his earthquakes,
that fire-god, and his volcanic eruptions,
the earth-mother and her minions,
who nurture each year’s harvest,
and protect us from starvation.
So here, at dawn, is the gleam of sunlight,
the realization that last night’s darkness
did not imply the end of the world,
and yesterday’s belief in this Joy
actually permitted us to sleep;
that yesterday’s lighting of a candle,
suggestive of the eternity of life,
the star of David, the cross, a statue
of Zeus holding a spear,
all the flags we fly, even the buttons we wear,
the meaningfulness of the pictures
we hang on our walls.
Isn’t it curious
this characteristic of human beings?
To find such meaning in symbols,
most an arbitrary bundle of geometrical lines,
figurative complexities, and statues we have constructed?
The universe is only 14 billion years old
we go about inventing a new one in our minds.