In the Halls of Knowledge

The Great Men shared their wisdom

With emperors, kings, monarchs, and generals.IMG_2596

Great women shared their insights and guidance, too,

But their words are stored in different wings of the Great Hall.

It was the Great Men who laid the foundations

For civilisation, for democracy, for tyranny,

Architectural planning, sewage, and war.

It was the Great Men who failed to save humanity

From the thirst for destruction men can never quench.

Some warned against aggression and greed,

Others advised on the proper path to power,

But the Final Solution was always one fault away.

These hoary gentlemen appear to watch over us,

But their stony eyes have no more sight,

Than the once active brains that planned

A future of deprivation and conflict.

They’ve let us down for three-thousand years, now,

But we keep returning to the font for another drink.

Surely this time Confucius will save us,

Or perhaps Seneca’s sagacity won’t be ignored.

Maybe Erasmus can calm the passions of the commoners.


I will smash the stone feet of those assumed sophic.

Their dead eyes, long blind, offer me no vision.

Their petty squabbles resolve no crisis.

Let them rot and roil the dead with their mendacity.

Let them be forgotten for giving us false hope

That we might see a brighter future.

Let their names be trammeled underfoot

As we race to our annihilation.

They should have seen it would be the only resolution.


Straddling me, you shake your hair, grin, and gaze down.

“What do you really want me to do?” you say.

I really want you to become a fortress.IMG_6604

I want you to be the wall against the hordes.

I want you to be an opaque integument and block the light.

I want you to envelop me, surround me, and smother me.

I want you to take me away or bring me home.

I want you to numb the pain or make me feel.

I want you to make it all go away.


“Where are you, right now?” you say.

As your voice quivers, I float back into place.

I settle down in my skin again.

I can hear you and eventually my eyes

Focus on your face and your lips.

I explain everything to you in detail,

But you can’t hear me, despite the screams.

You can’t hear me from the other side.

I will have to cross over—meet you half way.


I whisper, “Please don’t leave me.”

You promise to stay forever as I slip

Into orbit again watching this dance.

I see you lean over to kiss the tears

And brush my cheek. To my surprise,

My face seems to respond in gratitude.

It would seem my body remembers

What to do, and you understand it as well.

In the end, the two of you sustain me.