Transcending

by Marvin Levine, from Look Down From Clouds

Escher got it right.
Men step down and yet rise up,
the hand is drawn by the had it draws,
and a woman is poised on her very own shoulders.

Without you and me this universe is simple,
run with the regularity of a prison.
Galaxies spin along stipulated arcs,
stars collapse at the specified hour,
crows u-turn south and monkeys rut on schedule.

But we, whom the Cosmos shaped for a billion years
to fit this place, we know it failed.
For we can reshape,
reach an arm through the bars
and, Escher-like, pull ourselves out.

And while whales feeding on mackerel
are confined forever in the sea,
we climb the waves,
look down from clouds.