Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Song at the Threshold

To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

Ultimately there is little difference
between Jung                and Lawrence
between Plato                and Aristotle

("the dimorphism of the psyche 
                              produced them both")

between Christianity                and Shinto
between the Star of David    and the hexagram
between Capitalism                and Communism

We are talking about the same longings and desires
for peace                for understanding
for justice               for equality
         for happiness overall

                                             We are arguing only about the methods
                                               the means of attainment

                                             Whatever creeds we adhere to
                                                whatever ideologies we espouse
                                                       the goal remains the same
                                             and the values and principles that inspire
                                                those creeds and ideologies
                                                       always also outlive them

                                             All gods are the same god -
                                                    as Abraham discovered long ago

                                             The real distinctions
                                                   are not the avatar-figureheads
                                                         but the rituals -
                                             I mean, not the deus, but the lex

                                             (The weeks I have spent
                                                  trying to define the Unifying Principle
                                             are like the years of l’entre deux guerres
                                             I dream of creating something
                                                which History could not destroy

                                             I sit up late into the night
                                                reading Maimonides and Spinoza

                                             I keep a copy of the Analects beside my bed
                                                I despair of ever hoping again)

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