Pencils and Buttons

(first appeared in “Mind in Motion  -summer 1992)

The harvest is ripe,
the file soon to be closed.
There is nothing left to push
‘cept for pencils and buttons:
signals cuing signals,
it’s as endless as credit
and infinitely more costly.

There is nothing left,
no new things to acquire;
all is transaction,
all is a changing of hands.
Each ringing it drier and drier,
’till there is nothing left,
but symbols and signals,
and us, the thirsty,
and us, the hungry,
and all our pencils,
and all our buttons,
and push we will;
’till we wear the skin from the last of our fingers.

And without our eyes
we will know only our own pain;
and that of those we touch- during

Please Brother, drink from my empty cup.
It is gold and it is platinum,
with diamonds round the lip
and emeralds at the base.
Please drink and share my hunger.
Let me push your buttons,
let me file your soul.
Let my acts be justified by numbers;
come with me,
be like me,
die with me,
please Brother, drink!

Fill me with your emptiness,
calm me with your sorrow;
for I too am sorry,
sorry for you,
but mostly sorry for me.
But there are buttons to be pushed
and papers to shuffle;
my empty house needs an addition.

Please Brother,
pay me a visit.

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