A Poem, by Geoffrey Bingham
We had not thought about it.
We were born. We lived to die.
All the while we lived we did not think.
When the casket came
We followed to the graveyard,
Solemn and thoughtful, still not knowing,
Not knowing why we were created,
Indeed, why anything had come to be.
Some of us remembered the country schoolyard,
Also the classroom, the teacher,
And the daily business of life.
In the afternoons we went home,
Played time and life along with the family,
Returning to the school next day.
These were the only things we knew,
And these without reflection.
So it has always been. Time comes and goes;
Sometimes a vagrant thought tickles the mind
And puzzles the otherwise restful innerness—
That hidden-ness of our being—
Where thought perhaps both comes and goes,
And things are as always were—and will be.
What, then, is all this speculation
Creation—I think it must be this,
Though our teachers never told us so,
So busy they were being busy, or so
Busy being indolent and unspeculative—
Creation, I say, is a most powerful mystery,
Troubling the thought processes, puzzling us.
We know not what it is. All we know
Is that we’re here, though they tell me
Philosophers deny this fact, saying,
‘Man is insubstantial unreality,
A thought he’s had,
A figment of his mind’.
What’s a figment if but then
No proof of anything is possible?
Sometimes a moment comes—
An hour perhaps—when dullness dies,
New thoughts come wheeling on the wing,
Invading the untutored innerness,
And then we wake—if but for a moment,
A dazzling comprehension comes.
We wake and start, we puzzled stare,
We think the thoughts we never thought before.
That schoolyard bare, that afternoon,
The evening passed, the meal consumed,
And sleep again—these suddenly
Take form and motion, in the air
Bright thoughts bring flash and sparkle,
And we begin to think
Creation is the thought of mind.
‘Why are we here?’ we ask,
‘And how and what is here, and there?
What’s it for—all of this—and all for what?
Why anything and everything?’
‘Morons’, you say we are. Morons we are.
We know so little who know so much,
And all’s away, and little grasped.
No one can say the word ‘Create!’
And really understand its truth,
Its fact and being, all its form and life.
If this we learn—this much for now—
Perhaps we’re on the way to it,
To knowing and to seeing it,
To feeling and to being it. You say,
‘Oh, here we are, so quit it quick—
This foolish quest of knowing,
Finding out,round and about
The fact of this creation’.
We cannot quit who know it not.
We know we’re here, but how and why,
And why it is that we must die,
Are speculations rife and oft
From time’s beginning—so we hear.
The fact is this, the truth is this,
That we must know, and when we do
Creation’s truth will dazzle all,
And we’ll begin to hear
What God is saying to His world,
His dull and hazy, lazy world.
© Geoffrey Bingham