Socrates

Each grain of sand that populates
the endless span of shore
seems to be some small answer,
yet implies that there is more
to knowing than to learn by rote
some formulas or rules;
and when compared to the wide ocean
leaves wise men as fools
who would describe their world without
first knowing who describes,
gathering in wild opinions
like a thief collecting bribes.

To grasp the edge of the unknown,
and feel its sharp lip’s rasp
leaves only scars on seeking hands
that would some great truth grasp.
And truth? What sage would dare to dream
their vision broad enough
to take in what has breadth and depth
beyond man’s feeble bluff?
What theories we may formulate,
imagining the range
of life to be within our limits
seems exceeding strange.

If time is our sole instrument
for judging deeds and such,
how sad that it be squandered
limping along on the crutch
of preconceived ideas, formed
in sterile beds of thought
assuming constancy the norm
that drives how we are taught.
What good a single grain of sand
if man is on the beach
and for the want of one small speck
thinks the sea out of reach?

2 JUN 2005

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