The most reflective head
Is like the stillest waters or
In other words is dead.
Fit melodies instead
Of me. The chords of others round
My neck seem to my head
An abject yoke. I sing therefore
A world for me instead
Of them which means I also sing
For them as well. I’m led
By songs of conscience, too, whereby
Polyphonies are bred.
Expressed) will twice be forfeited should their
Notes not be chorded in some sheets of songs.
Each loss (of present understanding plus
Ancestors never known in future) wrongs
Live melody as well as dead whose strains
Of rising, falling tones in such refrains
Give undulating joy and counsel. Thus,
Years' notes we keep for us and those of us.
A group of two than one,
Does that same logic not require
The worshipping of none?
So many lenses grinded differently
Encased within such panoplies of heads
Evolving over time must all disprove
Despite "closed" canons that conservatives
Not only makes such lenses but disease,
Prodigious views, none suffered long to live,
*My father, Abby, and Lettie all died in the Spring.
And played instead of passive victim an
Aggressive agent capable of plan
And execution. In, we locked it out,
With weighty velvet curtains drawn across
An iron door bolted tight. “Our gain, Hell’s loss!”
We toasted with good bourbon and were steeled.
We saw a shadow by a comrade still
And cold throughout the reverie. It hid
Drink fool? No. Oh, no fancy has composed
Such vast lost voices in a single ghost.
Encases some still human figurines.
He turns the crank, spills out twelve strings of notes
To animate the figures. To one tune,
The maiden milks enthusiastically,
The scholar reads, the miser boxes gold,
The lady fans, the lover woos, the smith
Strikes anvils while the soldier swings a blade.
Moved, too, we marvel at the progress till
The boy’s arm tires abandoning the crank.
The figures stop themselves where they began
As though they never hoped or labored. We
Include ourselves. Retreating from the pane,
We shall not be so gullible again.
They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend-ourselves to make a Couch-for whom?
As anywhere. The waters also place
One in dilemmas when one has to face
A choice to either row or merely float.
There is the dock of course. Why sail? One could
Read just as well dockside as not. And should
One row, one might still favor either oar
We’d rather move than not and so we slip
Both oars into the waters where we dip
A journey cross its surface to forget
We’d drown within the belly of the lake.
pray fervently your journey may be long,
full of adventures and of things to learn.
Fear not the Laestrygonians, dread not
such things you’ll never find upon your way
if your thought’s lofty, your emotion’s rare
in ways that touch the body and the soul.
You’ll not encounter Laestrygonians
or Cyclopes or Poseidon on your way
unless you carry them within your soul,
unless your soul itself sets them on you.
Pray fervently your journey may be long,
that many summer mornings yet remain
for pleasant and for joyous anchoring
in harbors you have never seen before.
Pray you may stop at fine Phoenician marts
acquiring there their finest merchandise,
their coral, mother of pearl, their ebony
their amber, and their sensuous perfumes
of many kinds in many quantities.
Pray you may visit many Egyptian towns
and learn from many educated men.
Keep Ithaca always before your mind,
But do not rush the journey in the least.
It’s better that you travel many years
and anchor on the island in old age
with all your treasures gathered on the way
without expecting more from Ithaca.
For Ithaca gave you the wondrous trip:
without her you would never have set sail.
Now she has nothing left to give you more.
And yet she won’t have fooled you if she’s poor.
The experience and wisdom you’ll have gained,
Will have shown what Ithacas must truly mean.