Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’



And when Montaigne turned thirty-eight,

he began to paint inscriptions on the roof beams

in his library. Words of Socrates.

Euripedes. Sophocles. Horace. Ecclesiastes.

Theognis. Epictetus. Lucretius. As if to keep

himself looking up. As if to remember

where the world has been. As if to know

himself as part of this glorious conversation.


And who have I painted on the roof beams

of my heart? Rumi. Neruda. Mira. Rilke.

Szymborska. Hopkins. Ahkmatova. Bass.

Every day, I climb into that tower and trace

their words with my thoughts, wander

their paths, let them hold my hand. Sometimes

they take me by the face, the way a mother

or a lover would, and hold me there as if to say,

Now listen. I mean this. I mean you.  

Sometimes they stand passive, and

force me to find my own way in.


These are beams that never will burn,

the kind that hold up the sky.

Montaigne inscribed Horace, who

tells us: shelter where the storm drives you.

And wherever the storm, these beams

are there. Meanwhile, the thunder, the crackle

of lightning, the scent of the coming rain.







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