“Unless a Man Is Called”
Unless a man is called to teaching or sustains
Within himself the antidote to know, his time is wasted, illusion
Sets the course; affected treason, rust and delusion,
The hosts of obsolescent ills engage and surely, silently inflame
The shadows of what he’s bought and sold; nothing else remains.
No lesser refrain explains the patois, the syntax of his daily pain.
No finer melody is heard, nor can an earthly merit stain
So deeply as an election steeped in knowledge arraigned
Before the sign of radiant experience, the conscious moment,
Acquiescence to the Creator and creation, the beginning and the end of life.
Cacophony and strange occlusion feeding strife,
The precision instrument of precocious gain and loss; delusions foment
Strange complaisance with all cosmic forces, and in the rainbow’s
Dimness in the end, the single greatest lie: “Of course, I know!”
“When I thought I was learning to live,
I was learning to die.”
– Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)