The facts, m’am—tell the truth, but tell it slant
Because your aim is finally to enchant
Us with your tale and all the more beguile
Us with the deft and subtle ways your style
Affects our feelings and impressions of the facts
With colors that a court reporter lacks.
While you can’t change reality a whit,
You’ll shape how we have apprehended it
By modulating our viewpoint and mood,
Affecting thus your reader’s attitude.
The deeper truth you’re aiming to reveal
Is that which only artifice can seal.
To be a guy or girl, you act a role,
Calling for lots of careful self-control;
Though it may seem spontaneous and free,
There’s discipline beneath such “liberty.”
Two girls will traipse along, their arms around
Each others’ shoulders, while few guys are found
Engaged in such an intimate embrace.
A girl will gently touch another’s face;
For guys, a handshake or a backslap’s all
That is allowed before they hit a wall,
Since masculine decorum is constrained
By attitudes essentially left-brained.
Though right-brained women freely may emote
And show affections, no real guys would dote.
Though we will still explore our galaxy
And map the cosmos astronomically,
The last frontier we humans need to face
Is not in outer but in inner space—
Or should that now be our first enterprise,
Exploring what is dark that in us lies,
Seeking the way to Wisdom’s lofty realm
With Clarity and Courage at the helm?
That way, that quest, is toward what’s valued best,
For only that which serves all life is blest.
Eventually we grow to be amazed
That anything at all exists, yet more,
That somehow in us consciousness has blazed,
And our inherent intellect can soar
To speculate, investigate and find
What ever-more revealing science shows
Of how the cryptic cosmos is designed
And even how the whole shebang arose,
Though science isn’t all we hope to learn,
Which tells us what & where & when & how,
For we still have an ultimate concern
That scientific strictures won’t allow:
Enlightenment means ultimately seeing
The wonder in the mystery of our being.
Before the break of dawn I come to sit
in quiet darkness, sipping herbal tea,
mulling in my mind what might be fit
to versify, as notions visit me.
My writing pad sits on my lap, my pen
in my right hand gets chewed and twirled,
waiting for a line to form, and then
transcribes the thought revealed, a scroll unfurled.
A low-watt light illuminates my hand
and writing board while slowly the page fills
with what may seem premeditated, planned,
as if we poets exercised our wills
to write, when just the opposite is true:
we merely sit and let the Muse come through.
She’s gone and in my heart I’ve let her go,
No longer clinging to what I can’t hold,
No longer palpable—it must be so,
Though in my memory she won’t grow old,
For dearly I’ll recall her winsome ways,
Cavorting in excitement for a treat
Or simply blessing us with her fond gaze,
Her chin on her front paws, her silky feet,
Or how she’d howl at the midnight moon
Or at some specter in her fitful dream,
Startling us from slumber with her tune,
Left shivering in the chilly lunar gleam.
She’s left us now with dearest memories,
Which we shall summon any time we please.