, ">
Willowbrook Lane, Villanova, PA A Christmas Card Poem

I will drop Shakespeare,
and Homer, and Kant.
No quotations
(let the dead bury their dead).
Just plain words,
from a plain man,
a lonely one
(as all men, at bottom, are).

Words that come from nowhere and go nowhere
(exactly like life).
They look sad,
because they are true.
They say that the world is a big thing,
a real labyrinth,
full of traps.
Nice traps they are.
They have human shapes.
We know them well,
because we have built them.
We are the torturers and the victims
(all at once)
and cannot complain to God
(or to the Devil)
who both look at us with amused eyes.

We play our game,
day after day, night after night,
We break each other's hearts,
sometimes unknowingly,
but always implacably.
A fine game it is.
A God-like game,
but played at a human level.

A fascinating pantomime,
threatened by death and pressed by time.

But don't worry, Priscilla
These are the uncertain thoughts of a philosopher
who has had some inklings of the Truth of life
but who knows that there is another side.
The side of hope,
of happiness,
perhaps even of fun (no matter what some say),
For life is also wonderful;
it is a thing of beauty,
the only beautiful thing, in fact, there is in this world.
It suffices to wait
for wonders to come.
And they come.
They also have human shapes.
The same ones,
but seen from another angle.
There is sometimes love in this world.
It is not here to stay.
But while it does it tastes good.
There is friendship,
and the warmth of the human word.
And the wonderful game of the mind;
and the flow of blood in the veins,
and other things I cannot say
(just for lack of time).
There is the color red, the color yellow,
the green, the blue, the emerald,
and the sparkle of the human eye
(and all those things we cannot buy).

I could go on,
and on, and on.
But this, I hope, suffices.
It is even long for a Christmas card
(maybe I was inspired).

back to The Poet