Tag Archives: philosophy

The Narrow Path

The Narrow Path

I made it, I got old,
many never do.
I reached the oaken door,
the warden let me through.
The spirit has no age,
I know to my relief.
I still like to listen
to rain taps on a leaf.

I did not dig for gold
nor dive for a pearl,
did not mine for silver,
to hear my hammer hurl.
I wrote words on a page,
I loved my only gift.
I knew it would stay,
whatever came to shift.

Harvey, our white rabbit,
lived safe in his hutch,
ate lettuce and carrot,
he never needed much.
I watched him sniff the air,
dry as the wood and wire,
simple as honesty,
puzzled by a liar.

I must not lose my hold,
now I near the peak.
My trust is in my skill,
to make silence speak.
I watch an eagle soar,
I look down on a lake.
I step above the clouds,
the narrow path I take.

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The Music of the Spheres

The Music of the Spheres

The music of the spheres
Pythagoras coined,
those words he joined,
found a harmony in the planets,
space and random stones,
he looked up at the heavens,
and listened for the tones.

The music of the spheres,
it sounds so high and fine.
It is really mathematics,
you could not further stretch the line.

Away from the lamp lit world,
look up at the stars,
listen for the music of the spheres,
but when you think of it,
it is not composed of sounds,
but of sublime silence
that is ancient, changeless,
cannot be disturbed,
but maybe if the roof of the dome was removed,
you could hear the unimaginable,
the untranscribable,
and though after you may feel drained inside,
you will know that at least you tried.

Final thought.
Pythagoras was an ancient Greek.
One wonders, in his time, if there was ever a young Greek.

A Better Game

A Better Game

You failed to have me believe in nothing,
not that you really tried
to show me through your philosophy
why every faith had died.
I address my lines to my old teachers
in the last century
when I lived through my childhood and my youth,
and sought ways to be free.

If things were different, at least not the same,
we could sit at a table and play a better game,
make its rules more reasonable,
and give it a decent name.

A train has a lonely whistle,
way out on the track,
far from any station,
the signalman has no answer back.

A ship has a silent anchor,
somewhere in the deep,
not even the captain
can answer what the sea asks in sleep.

A race is won by the finest sprinter,
the best skin and bone,
no one knows the losers,
they cannot decipher the unknown.

A bell has a final echo.

October Song For Socrates

October Song For Socrates

So I went for a walk
in the wind and the weather,
a misty, windy walk,
in the month of October.
The earth acorn brown,
and the leaves they were turning,
a blue, smoky gown
rose from twigs that were burning.

Now when wise Socrates,
he went down to the market,
all worldly things to please
tempted him for to buy it,
and he was amazed
to find little he needed,
with joy he was dazed,
like a plant newly seeded.

Wheels were turned by his words.
Spring blue bells I remember,
and the nest building birds,
as light dims to November,
and I had to smile
at boys hunting for conkers,
their dream is a pile
of the fruit from the branches.

So down the road I strode
with no load on my shoulder,
to the bright woodland gold,
and the wind it blew colder.
When the mountains call,
my wings will fledge and feather,
and I’ll leave it all
for the wind and the weather.

Under Albatross Archway

Under Albatross Archway

Under Albatross Archway stood an angel,
he listened to a river.
It was dark night, with no moon or star,
so he could not see it, only hear it,
far below his feet,
as it slowly, deeply rippled by.
Out of the shadows,
by the jewel flower light glow
of a street lamp,
he watched an old drunken man
in a long coat come shambling nigh,
who stopped when he saw him and said:
“What does it matter,
if you die sober or sodden with rum?
You know there is nothing to come.”
“Maybe in the morning things will seem different,”
answered the angel.
“Why not wait till the light of dawn?”
“There is always that, the maybe, the perhaps,”
the drunkard said.
“You never know your luck.
You never know how it will be.
Too late for philosophy.
Too late for me.
I’m going home. Everywhere is shut.
Nowhere to cadge another drink.”
“Things are earlier and later than you think,”
the angel warned him.
The drunkard trembled, walked on,
sometimes stopped to shiver.
The angel smiled, turned his head,
resumed his listen to the river.

The Penguin’s Penultimate Argument

The Penguin’s Penultimate Argument

“There I end my lectures,”
our philosophy professor said,
“this term’s introduction
to Plato’s Theory of Forms.”
He then, slowly, bowed his head,
in his black gown, like a tall penguin,
about to step down from a block of ice.
The original pyramid,
he had earlier chalked with care,
he scrubbed from the blackboard.
“One day someone might
come up with the penultimate argument.
Till then, that one will suffice,”
he added, then flapped out of the lecture hall,
leaving us all impressed, satisfied,
some even serenely smiling.
To break the silence, someone said:
“That was good, was’nt it?”
And another said: “Yes, that was nice.”
For it was good sometimes, was’nt it?
Was’nt it good sometimes?
Yes, it was good then,
as we left the lecture hall,
stepped out into the quadrangle,
bright with May sunshine on the lawns,
the hedges and the willows.
For that afternoon, we were still in Athens,
when Plato debated and Socrates
spoke with certainty
of the soul and its immortality.
And yes, it was good.
When you pause, remember.
It was good sometimes.
Was’nt it good sometimes?

The Penguin’s Penultimate Argument

The Penguin’s Penultimate Argument

“There I end my lectures,”
our philosophy professor said,
“this term’s introduction
to Plato’s Theory of Forms.”
He then, slowly, bowed his head,
in his black gown, like a tall penguin,
about to step down from a block of ice.
The original pyramid,
he had earlier chalked with care,
he scrubbed from the blackboard.
“One day someone might
come up with the penultimate argument.
Till then, that one will suffice,”
he added, then flapped out of the lecture hall,
leaving us all impressed, satisfied,
some even serenely smiling.
To break the silence, someone said:
“That was good, was’nt it?”
And another said: “Yes, that was nice.”
For it was good sometimes, was’nt it?
Was’nt it good sometimes?
Yes, it was good then,
as we left the lecture hall,
stepped out into the quadrangle,
bright with May sunshine on the lawns,
the hedges and the willows.
For that afternoon, we were still in Athens,
when Plato debated and Socrates
spoke with certainty
of the soul and its immortality.
And yes, it was good.
When you pause, remember.
It was good sometimes.
Was’nt it good sometimes?