The Elevator, A Poem

When people used to talk to each other
there was a time when a ride between floors
was a chance to share ideas,
instead of feeling trapped or caged.

Now the buildings have streets inside,
veins of human energy pulsating in all directions
the thrum and hum of the city
beating the steady drum of progress.

We have learned to create towers
that scrape the heavens, learned to bounce
between land and sky, but we humans
have forgotten, too.

Remember the forest? Or
do you only exist in urban jungles
where layers of life commingle
in vertical stacks?

Crossing paths but never interacting,
sharing space but never connecting,
breathing air but never noticing,
consuming but never thriving.

In the mad dash to cross from treetop to treetop,
nest, to car, to office, can we still be the Human Being,
or is the Human Doing
the only thing left?

Maybe the place where we come to rest
while machinery does the climbing for us
has more to offer the Human Being
than a few seconds of tense waiting.

Can these tiny spaces that
have exalted the human race
be used to uplift and inspire us
in some other more timeless way, too?

The space between the ground and the sky,
the shaft of elevation,
could it once more be a place
for encounters and human connection?

Not just between me and you, but
between me and myself, too,
a pause in the hustle and bustle
to feel into the beings all around.

How would it be if for twenty seconds
the mundane wait between floors 1 and 5
didn’t just transport us upwards,
but inwards, too?

What would it take for the
elevator to not only move us
up and down, but to transport us
inwards and outwards, too?

Created exclusively for Elevator World India magazine, not to be reproduced without permission, all rights reserved.

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