- Let the Waves Pour Endlessly
We learn what tyranny is on the first day of school,And we learn what freedom is too.How many hours do we labor learning what we never use?It used to be eight years before you were through.
Now it is sixteen to get that lowly B.A.And if you want a real job it’s far and awayAt least two more or six, approaching middle age.That is a third of your life in student days!
How much do you recall from all that class time?Geometry? Physics? Math? Civics? Spanish?The fine-Looking teacher you had in class nine?I was in love with her for a while.
Some fall in love with school, eager to learn.Some lose their jobs and have to return.Education is what you have left afterYou’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned. [End Page 577]
The Mind at Sea
All true and earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea while the wildest winds of Heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore.—Herman Melville
The mind is at sea like seaweed floating with the tides:Anything is possible, you are free to thinkThe unthinkable, whatever abides
Is what you become and you can driftIn currents without limit, all day, all night, changingThe way a magician changes but not using tricks
Or sleights of hand; there is not a thingTo hold you back, no rules. Sail into danger,Overturn all assumptions, you can be daring
Like Edison lighting Manhattan, no longerShrouded in darkness when the sun sets; youCan see beyond the stars, beyond the nebulae, further
Than anyone has ever seen, back toThirteen billion years and postulate theBig Bang As origin of the universe; you
Can discover the source of your feelings in the brain,The subconscious mind and its own dark matter where reasonIs put through a maze of Oedipal tangles;
You can push off into the unknown as poets andPhilosophers do and, bobbing on waves like a cork,Lost in the breaking surf, find a new vision [End Page 578]
That is distinctly your own. You can stalkThe reef and mingle with the vast swarms of fish,Travel back in time to your own origin, walk
Along the sea’s edge and listen to the swishOf the waves as they flutter and turn against each other,One rolling over another as they thresh
The sands. The brain is wider than the sea forIt has room for you and the ocean too;No ship can travel faster and none so far.
The lighthouse turns on stormy seas,Lights the chaos of the waves,Lights the sucking roar of water liftingHands, foamy fingers reaching
As in Hokusai’s great wave at KanagawaTowering higher than FujiyamaTerrifying the huddled fishermen.The beam swings wide and then
Raw power greets you, uncontrollable.In the heavens a supernova delights allEyes, a slideshow, but here Blake’sEnergy is not eternal delight, it shakes
Us to our toes in fear, the flamencoDance, the swirling skirts of a tornadoComing on, a tsunami’s geographic reach,Masses of summer’s children thrown upon the beach.
And the lighthouse keeper, our Paul Revere,Tending his lenses and lamps is hereLocked in his cupola of light, the last man, the last,Who must save himself to save us all. [End Page 579]
The Delinquent Herald
On the day your life alters and moves on a courseYou never imagined, that one crucial day in aLifetime of days, the day you meet your spouseYou will live with for the next sixty years or the dayYou, at last, decide what occupation will become
What you will become, arrives without fanfare, just aMorning in a lifetime of mornings, the same old routines:Waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, the forgettableBanalities of an ordinary day. There is no trumpet blast,No angel or dove who visits you, no cupid...