Don’t Just Sit There
as if the truth
was going to float down
from the rafters,
was going to insinuate itself
UP your nostrils
like some highly concentrated perfume,
or plop itself down onto your lap
for some quick and spontaneous
It doesn’t happen that way.
And that’s not what we have for you anyway;
for what’s in here
could as well be a potpourri
of jumbled sound,
something to make you understand
that the nicer the words
the less they may very well mean,
the harder we try
to make ourselves clear,
(like some tinkley bell, for example)
the more we’re going to confuse.
So don’t depend on me:
I’ll twitter and tweet;
But it’s you who’s gotta
get up and dance.
So listen. And weep.
We’re none of us Homers here,
Not one of us, let’s admit.
It seems he’s always off somewheres else.
Aim at the target but don’t expect a Bull’s-Eye.
And don’t just lift a pen.
You’ve got to have something to say.
Ideas, like water, don’t flow up-hill.
They are not like some etching by Escher.
Such magic is always an illusion.
We are born in a gravitational field,
and cannot escape it,
whatever one’s imagination.
I was reading about Harlow Shapley, the astronomer,
who astutely expanded the Milky Way,
but mistook a million galaxies for smoky nebulae.
No; no one is perfect.
But if your pitcher is full
and you have the spiritual strength
of a Mahatma Gandhi
then you should pour a little into the cups
of your compatriots.
So there you are:
To share, and be shared with
is the best hope that the majority of us can ask for.
Mostly, though, the canniest choices
seem to have been sold already to the highest bidder,
and we are like looking for a comet through a dirty telescope.
Really! Who do you know that won the lottery?
And those gods: they never come by, or fill Our mugs, gratuitously,
like in Greek mythology.
More often they ( our mugs) are as empty as our pocket-books,
our brains, our prospects.
More often we are even out of ink
when it is really needed.