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Christopher Daly

of

Frederick, MD, US

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Words

by

Christopher Daly

We could beseech you forever to undress our ignorance
Which drapes us in a motley knowledge.
We guess that symmetry between our address
And the anguish of our request
(which masks our true knowledge)
Will reveal a radiance of wisdom.

Words are the odd signposts of divinity
Tilting haphazardly along the highways of consciousness.
They point with dramatic irony toward some heavenly gate.
They are unconscious of what they indicate.
We have no awarenes of their real importance
And in this sense they mock us with a meaning
Which they themselves do not articulate.

It is a weak irony that words convey
The truth of which will never fully be disclosed.
They are the sphinx's riddle of the mind,
The noblest and most wretched under this vault.

And yet, words can reverse the condition of sin
If we let them in,
As if Zeus presented himself at the door
A ragged wayfarer come at dusk seeking a night's lodging.

The poet's hubris is the same as the philosopher's
But cloaked and therefore pleasing to the gods
Since he acts the fool in their sight
And does not seek to rise to their height,
But merely dances before them in jester's costume.
In full awareness of his thereness before them
He mimes, or mocks and chides, the awfulness of revelation.