Tuesday, February 9, 2016


1In the Shadow Box,
one thing becomes another.
Nothing is fixed,
anything can become anything else:

the two men across the room,
whose whispering annoys me,
may become cows silently
grazing, with an occasional melodious 'Moo! '

World peace may break out any day.
We've seen presentiments of that before.

Inventions come from that Box—
the car, computers, electicity—
laughed at, at first,
they soon transform our world.

Nothing has yet
transformed the heart
of humankind,
but that too is possible.
Suppose there's someone in the Box
whose smile Illumines all whose path he crosses;
the whole world will change.

I inhabit a life of disappointment,
in the doldrums of my middle years.
The bright pathways I took, when young,
toward love, career, and money,
have been obstructed for so long

that all I hope for now
is not to die—
or to die, even,
just not to incur the wrath
of Fate's 'other shoe'.

Yet the mind
that sees this picture
projects a frozen road.

The logic of yesterday
can never create Tomorrow!
Somewhere a witch has cast a spell!
Send her back to the Shadow Box—
let the true Beloved
emerge in her place!
Stranger things have happened!

But, you say,
'Such things do not just happen.
They are an alchemy.
The force of change,
the Fire of awareness
—must come from you.

Then I shout, 'Yes! The freedom
to begin lies here with me—
that price I can pay! '
-Max Reif, "The Shadow Box"

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