The Wise-Man’s Dilemma

Our hard-won lessons are made of paper;
They burn over cold embers
And they unfurl like lies
We sought meditations-
The wisdom of peaceful rivers.
Their revelations were like pearls to swine.
They never taught us how to breathe or how to die,
But we’ve managed anyways.

We learn our whole lives how to make the other happy,
But nothing seems to stick.


*First things first- sorry about the formatting- WordPress is unkind to the text-alignment needs of we poets, but I felt the alignment was important enough to make sacrifices in order to reflect. Hopefully I’ll find a way to represent this more cleanly in future posts!*

The way that the human synapse works can be pretty… incredible (in the truest meaning of that word); The complexes we hate most in others are often complexes we embody. We often know what our own souls desire, but we repress that which is sacred and instead set to polish the chains that bind us down. More interesting still, our first response to repression or oppression is to repress others ten fold. When there’s no one to repress, we turn it on ourselves the same. We mistreat most cruelly, the one’s that we profess to love.

We can’t even see that we do it.

Some of us try to treat our and other’s complexes and repression through psychology or philosophy. We gain true wisdoms and insights by doing this- but like a water-wheel, we spin- then claim that we’ve changed the river’s flow.

This poem of mine isn’t a happy one. It’s not restorative. It has no hope.

But I think that it is true.

And I am in love with that which is true.

I don’t want to be a water-wheel. I don’t want to sit here and polish my chains while I boil with envy over the free life and psyche I wish I had.

I don’t want that for you, reader.

Even though this poem is about the worthlessness and evil of it all, I write it in response to the devil in our brains. I’d like to look him or her or it dead in the eye and say:

“I can see what you’re doing here.”

“You can’t trick me.”

“You might have me right where you want me-“

“But I wont let it stick…”

…This poem is about the worthlessness and evil of it all.

And about the one’s who can see through it.

Published by The Poetry of Ants

I've been writing poetry since I was little. These poems have always been my means of resolving the world as it is against the world as it should be. Writing has been my great catharsis. I hope that you and I may be able to share in that.

3 thoughts on “The Wise-Man’s Dilemma

    1. I’m happy that it reached you 🙂 This was a work that I paid for with a fair share of tears on my part. Thank you for reading and letting it touch you. It redeems some of that rough shit we gotta go through in life sometimes. Again, thank you, and have a blessed journey!


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