Dreams are a simple way to make sense
of the past, often used as a mental grip
on the bafflement we feel
when choice engulfs us, not just hems us in.
Shall I become that which I know I am not?
Perhaps, an empty shell, I will be found out:
a shameful gambler like many,
and primed to receive his just deserts.
Or, better, to receive the same without regret,
saying “Enough, I tried and failed, move on,”
my mantra: “Remember the past with honesty
while discarding the mask that pierces your soul.
In this your future lies, not the hands or minds
of evil ponderers picturing new empires.”
Wing your own flight path, avoid the turbulence
of unfounded discredit; permission to hurt denied.
As years march away we acquire cracked memories,
misrepresented as wisdom and sought as trophies.
They are eye-catching and ephemeral
as points of light dancing inside a golden ring.
All are packaged up in far corners of life's offices,
vignettes of change and its stubborn resistance;
the canny recognise themselves,
their fractured self-knowledge needing no prompt.
Others seek solace in majestic nature only,
convinced that a Himalayan mountain fastness
or the smallest gecko may complete the lived life:
impregnable fortresses of authentic truths.
In short, to reconcile heart and mind, reason
and desiderata, acknowledging the Yin and Yang,
the light and dark in their disordered lives,
while fighting primal need for praise.
The child within, behind crustal grease paint
like Homer Simpson, is drawn to any bauble;
the thoughtful, too, accept with cynicism
the schoolyard traductions of those who guide their fate.
For those with inquiring minds, a life simply lived
is the greatest of all achievements, held aloft
in celebration and love. Yet simple precepts
prove hard enough to win along the way.
For those who have tried, and failed, a familiar burden
is the legacy they shoulder each day. From this albatross
they may still understand that wisdom is as elusive
as the first light of dawn: once found, it is never lost.