Math is easy, always has been:
Science, language, everything —
But she feels alone, and different.
Like a stretched and fraying string,
She is at her very limits.
There’s a guy she likes, but he
Likes cheerleaders and won’t notice
When she wins the spelling bee.
So tomorrow, she’ll stop seeming
Quite so smart, she’ll change her hair,
And she’ll get this guys attention:
Somehow, someway, and somewhere.
“Intelligence is key,” they teach us.
Smartness is a thing we vaunt:
But, while it can help us know things,
It can’t tell us what
(Assumption – “Smarter people are wiser.”)
The sun sets on the standing stones.
The clouds, the moon, the stars still move in track.
The widsom that I seek seems out of reach,
And questioners and doubters, still catch flack
Especially from those who pose as questioners.
These hunt down searchers with great indignation:
Returning then to palaces of folly
In orgasms of self-congratulation
her thread came loose —
i was but a boy
maybe eight years old
and she kept repeating herself —
she could not remember
what she’d just told us
and it frightened me
like i’d landed in a madhouse —
not my grandmother’s
where we came to visit
my mother talked to me in the car —
what’s wrong with grandma?
She is going through [what was then usually called] senility
She loses her sense of where she is, and
Time goes back and forth
In her head
It’s something that sometimes happens…
‘Senility’ is God’s way of reminding us that…
That the mind and the soul
Are not the same thing
will she get better?
No, son, she won’t.
Her mind will gradually unravel
Until she’s ready
ready for what?
To be free
“A battlefield this was”
Is likely true
Most everywhere we go
If we just knew.
But history, at least
What we discuss
Or think about, must
Somehow concern us.
But empathy, perspective –
These can grow –
Just know to think
‘Bout what you think
Relax, my friend
Don’t worry so
You’re free to look
Or come and go
So be at peace
And smell the air
You have all this
What more is there?
Of all the things that I have learned,
One thing I have no doubt of;
That trouble’s easy to get in,
But real hard to get out of
The things we want – and want right now –
Are sometimes within reaching;
But we dismiss the warning voice
As uninvited preaching
I think on choices I made, while
Denying I was choosing,
And putting out at risk, some things
I couldn’t survive losing
My heavens, Owen, who are you
To take your life for granted?
Do you think that your teflon?
Do you live a life enchanted?
Or are you just like everyone
Amid all of life’s factions,
In that you have to pay the price
For all your unwise actions?
I wish to tell the world how it should live;
But I have no idea, and so, I won’t.
I wish there were some wise words I could give
To ease your ache. There are none, so I don’t.
I drive this road, my back in stabbing pain,
The setting sun is shining in my eyes;
I cobble words together once again,
But leave you no less puzzled, no more wise.
If only I could be there, at your arm,
To touch you for a moment, and to say
That though life is uncertain, full of harm,
There will be times – tonight – that are okay.
I wish that I could tell you something more:
But this small truth is all I am good for
So, on my left is Kierkegaard
And on my right is Kant;
The many-thousand things I’ve read
In need and hope and want
Much puzzlement belabored me,
But much good I received;
Back when we read to learn
Not just confirm the pre-believed
And as to where I ended up,
There’s really no such thing;
Until our journey’s over, we’re
Noiselessly along some shore
I chase the scent I need to find;
While gold eternal I ignore,
The ageless waters God designed —
I run and run as darkness drops,
Naught audible but surf and breath;
The chase – it ever-never stops
Not for the living, nor for Death
Because I need, I need to know
The love and safety of that scent:
A mem’ry that I treasure so…
I just can’t reckon