What would we do,|
if there were no ash?
We'd put the kettle out in the meadow,
wondering how to get the water boiling.
People used to small metal containers
would be forced to resort to cups or mugs
or bottles, all of them breakable;
the reason why would be beyond their ken.
We'd miss a common name for a common tree,
wondering if its scientific one would do.
(Sorry, Fraxinus, when not in Rome
even the learned won't do as the Romans do.)
Smokers looking for their special trays
would fail to find a place for their powder.
We'd hear of pilots lending their planes safely,
wondering about the fate of the borrowers.
Those lying down for a good night's sleep
would still be kept awake by the bed news,
only to be woken up by birds at dawn;
noisy birds they would peevishly call "nesty".
Our world would burn in incomprehension,
and no phenix would arise from its ashes.