“I Thought to Tell You”
I thought to tell you this, but then I knew
That any hopeful thing I’d cause to say
Would only serve as an apostrophe until the day
You might repeat without doubt, without the usual effort; by then, you’ll
Require nothing, you’ll not lose a syllable nor waste yourself in thought,
No hesitation in the lobby, no strain or pain at all; you’d know
That what you see within this sunrise can only grow
And assail you where your greatest strength remains; knots,
Issues, nothing matters here but action whose crown is certitude.
Exigencies of the moment smile and while there are so many winds,
Ambitions, urges, still what is of value, truly, must begin
When it’s begun, not merely when its known. Truths
And givens: not so; time and place and fruition
Early rushed are soon eroded, lost in lust, and buried in fatuous decision.
Substantial dividends, the grasses have their roots
In wholes and overweening gluttony upon any great savannah;
A cipher to the needs of elephants but not necessarily the rude hyena.
Whether for foraging or bloodlust, the arguments are moot.
Someone said the speaker’s soiled himself or worse; he’s said nothing.
Really? Is this what we believe? But the audience sits rapt and listening,
And in his fevered silence Crito sits there bristling
In the sweat of final bows to egregious appeal and nothing
If not futile to the likes of Socrates. Tragedy in the choosing
Of an hour that never is and only seems to be
Remembers in itself a splendid sharp hypocrisy, a certain will to see
The light reduced to sparks and fire, kindling from stolen virtues
extinguished for the sake of mere illumination for the philistines, amusing
If you’re not the one who’s speaking, or the author of what amounts to treason:
Protagonists of wisdoms favouring knowledge above experience are
the nemesis of balance between what is common sense and what in fact is reason.