The Paradox of the Peacock

                               The Paradox of the Peacock

The rules make it clear,
they do not want you here.
Designed more to keep you out
than to let you in,
they reveal the ladder,
but disallow you to begin.

You stand on the threshold,
at least aware of the elite,
but you cannot even see them through a window,
so you shuffle back down the street.
Back home in your room,
a wine bottle stands sentry on the table.
You prefer the pain of truth
to the brief, false joy of fable.

A maze may have a middle,
but it may not provide
the answer to the riddle,
only the centre of confusion,
the hub of the wheel,
to reveal the paths that can be taken,
but which of them is but a reflection in a mirror
and which long lain and real?
That you cannot decide,
but at least you know,
you must go on alone,
you never had a chosen side.

The paradox of the peacock
is that it cannot truly see
the beauty in its tail.
And you may think you know
who will win the race
in the parable of the tortoise and the snail.
Though both slow you know
the tortoise should win,
then you are told it is the snail,
for it fastens itself to the shell of a scorpion,
which runs fast to slay its victim with its sting,
cruel as the fingernail that scrapes
the dust from a moth’s wing.
You may say the snail cheated,
but the tortoise does not mind,
as he nibbles on his meal
of tomato and lettuce leaf,
which proves that life can be
both fortunate and kind.


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