Friday, March 23, 2012

What Nyx Told The Philosopher

AWAKE, mortal! By wild horses drawn in teams,
you have come here on the waves of your dreams;
you to me my daughters duly have conveyed
and will return thee after what I have said.

KNOW that what can be observed is and must be,
whether or not you can think it or see
it shining brightly in the glinting sun,
have felt it or some other experience done.

But know also that what you have not seen,
felt or heard is, being beyond your mean
and feeble awareness and thought,
apart from the observable and the taught,

Any such is just as true and as real
as that by which you set your seal;
Reality is not as small as your mind,
but large enough to fit all and every kind.

Even both reason and opinion cannot, alone,
conjecture truth so complete and prone
to be fully fathomed by the human eye,
but, alas, these are the tools you have to ply.

Nature, unaltered pool of Being, is One;
from it all things rise and fall, ever redone,
as need and season call, or wit and wile
contrive through vision, putting craft to trial.

What seems static moves slowly to your eye,
but nevertheless has life, and then will die
to be reborn in a different form, visible,
or even, wonder of wonders, wholly invisible.

As much as you crave a truth absolute,
justice is found when the pure of repute,
mitigate the starkly formulaic with art,
arriving at an equity whose best part

Satisfies all sides to a harmonious end,
beyond which none further shall contend,
for all affected, touched and involved
shall truly believe the matter resolved.

So vital art is to nature, I converse
with you in this clear yet simple verse,
that you may completely comprehend,
remember, then impart to all and any friend.

And now, Parmenides, my speech being done,
I return you to the arms of Day, having won
knowledge of nature so noble and rare
that you must carry it forward and share.

And then, Nyx turned aside, with a sigh
and a smile, soft and kindly, yet wry,
while the hapless Parmenides was flung
into the chariot by which he was brung,
whereupon the daughters of the moon
whipped her mares over the cloudy dune,
finally dropping their guest in his cot,
violently waking him to think on his lot
and on all that Nyx had spoken
by way of her unusual token.

© 2012 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

No comments:

Post a Comment