On Truth

I dreamed I came into a place
where every word was true
and no-one told me this was so
but inwardly I knew.

And here I thought to garner friends
without a trace of guile
in word or deed, ingenuous souls
of bright and ready smile.

And here, I thought, will peace be found
and here corruption ends,
for business, politics and love
will share truth's dividends.

And all the people in the place
professed to like it well,
and as their every word was true
then who was I to tell?

But words were rare, and rarer still
their laughter, even in youth.
I thought, here walks the gravity
of undiluted truth.

I stopped an elder in his path
and begged of him to show
some of his people's poetry.
'It ended, long ago.

'We found it incompatible
with truth, in how it leads
to flights of fancy, fevered thoughts,
exaggerated deeds.

'In simile and metaphor
mendacious fervour grows
to blatant lie, for no-one's love
is like a red, red rose.

'There is no Ancient Mariner,
there is no Bowl of Night.
To better serve the cause of truth
'twere better not to write'.

'And Drama too?' 'The same applies',
he said, 'for logic knows
no difference between deceit
and false theatrical shows'.

And all the people in the place
professed to like this well
and thought themselves in heaven, where
I thought myself in hell.

But there was one who touched my arm
and asked, 'Where shall I find
this Bowl of Night, this red, red rose?
They echo in my mind'.

'In every human heart', I said,
reciting lines I knew
from memory, and as we talked
an understanding grew.

And still we talk. The evening wends
to morning, and the dawn
of more than day enfolds us
as a skein of mist is drawn

across the savage desert that
purports to be so wise
but falls before an honest world
of joy, and love, and lies.

2 comments:

Elena said...

Thanks for pointing the way to this one. I'm thrilled that you wrote about truth, or lack of threof, almost one year and a half before I did :) I think I recognize you here:

'for logic knows no difference between deceit and false theatrical shows'.

Again thanks for the read and for pointing the way.

Paraglider said...

Elena, six weeks late, I've found your comment here. Thank you for visiting. Always welcome :)