Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Abelard: The Peril & the Price of Careless Thought (Addition to the Apology Box)

                         Abelard’s Ballade

Thought is the cruelest place where charts mark no
Fixed latitude or constancy of shore
For shifting airy coasts and courses.  Though
Polaris holds without, within one's oar
Has no such brilliant constant marker for
Safe navigation.  Vague, obscure and fraught
With shifting inner shoals, one can’t ignore
The peril and the price of careless thought.

Did man precede the beasts?  Both “yes” and “no”
Say Testaments where just a pair yet more
Go in the ark, where Eve’s made second though
She’s simultaneous in lines before,
Where we’re commanded to love yet restore
Slaves to a master, where it’s said we ought
Not judge yet brook no sin.  We’re fodder for
The peril and the price of careless thought.

There’s such confusion--turn the cheek yet go
Acquire a sword as well?  Why wasn’t more
Care taken in the drafting?  All should know
That words have consequences.  Maimed, I bore
The scars of mixed-up syllables.  Before
More suffer needless butchery, one ought
To master language.  I explored, therefore,
The peril and the price of careless thought.

Lord, thus I did my volumes.  Since they store
All I discovered, I can rest.  Full taught
Below, no suffering here would teach me more
The peril and the price of careless thought. 

© Harold Anthony Lloyd 2016
The current contents of "The Apology Box" can be found here.

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