The Thought Of The World

By Mark McMorris

This is how a country goes bad.

Reason does not govern

The social order, in the Republic.

The old philosophers thought reason

If spoken plainly could alter

The governing order of the world.

Was it a comfort to believe

That someone held the Word

In their mind to establish

The world beyond thinking

The world on the ground

Upheld and upholding

The mind in its cottage

The thought of the world

Apart from the mind

Stable of immortal horses?

And the long disputations of Abelard…

What was the discourse?

What was the virtue of speech

Had there not been a world

To uphold and a mind to think

Of worlds that were not itself

The mind echoing the outside

Creak of tree-frogs at night—

The window and witness—

To tell the story of what it saw?

Was there never a song

A dogma close to Paradise

Worthy of our tenderness?

Were the tongues always

Deceived and the spoils

Bestowed by conquerors

The purchase of blindness?

On the wall is the writing

By hand of the last poet

To leave the last city behind.

Her words are calligraphy.

The drawing made by them

The letters of the writing

What it says is that here

A hand once made a mark. O liberty to write your precious

Freedom like a faulty wire.

Through the window the maple trees

Shining and swaying.

Lights sputter as the hand moves.

Well then, to write dark letters

On dark pages in the dark hall.

It matters that the words hold on

And the meanings cling like iron.

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Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
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