The Gift of the Invisible Book

gift poem featured

Ophir J. Bitton

There is a book with no pages or words,
Its illustrations are windows, some looking out,
Others revealing what is within
Some of the pages are torn, smudged and incomplete
Yet prose, poetry, humor, philosophy, and wisdom are scribed on each sheet
Raw and simple, yet inexplicably deep and complex

The chapters do not segue one into the other
They bare no names or numbers
Yet there is no introduction
It starts at the intersection of an unexpected lesson and a realization
And if you read it as instructed and pass on its lessons,
It never ends

It transcends beyond the author
As if it has a soul that binds to the reader
Without studying and sometimes without paying attention at all
You may recite its verses or follow its examples,
Inexplicably, you may leave sunshine behind a door for others to find on a Sunday morning
You might fill your home with music and the dance of children
or offer and insist and persuade to give all of yourself,
You may find yourself wearing a knitted cap and brewing eucalyptus to fight a cold, and
You might find yourself feeding turtles and your grandchildren’s minds with a toss of old bread

This book is love, and it touches and lifts and screams of devotion,
But it is so quiet, so subtle, like the squirrel that took one bite from each fruit of each tree and daftly eluded capture.
Filled with lessons, whimsy, idiosyncrasies, unselfish wisdom, and examples upon examples of love,
It takes up no room, collects no dust, and is filled with hundreds of bookmarks so you, the reader, the loved disciple of the author, will never lose your place.
This is the gift of the invisible book.

Ophir Jacob Bitton was born in Israel to Moroccan parents.  He immigrated to the United States in 1978 as a child.  He writes about Jewish spirituality, culture, family life, nature and social justice issues he experiences as an attorney.  He has self-published a collection of poetry written about his courtship of his wife (Becoming Eyes, Aventine Press 2008), and his poetry has recently been published in the Jewish Literary Journal and Poetica Magazine.
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Shana Saviss
Shana Saviss
2 years ago

This poem is so special to our family! Thank you Ophir <3

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