Friday, January 06, 2012

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

I walk out into clinging fog--
I'm wearing it like second skin.
In obscurity, be vigilant
in clarity, be mindful.
Sounds like something from the Art
of War
. I'm on my guard

against self-appointed guardians
who like to keep us in a fog
about what constitutes Art.
Beauty may be only skin
deep, but in your bones and mind--
wherever it is your soul is on vigil--

you know the truth. These invigilators,
enquirers, inquisitors, purport to guard
us from corruption of mind.
Exactly what that means is foggy
but I'm convinced the real skinny
comes from the horse's mouth. Art

is no-one's sole possession. Art
belongs to those who keep vigil
in the deep watches, when the skin
crawls with intensity of self-regard.
When dew falls and freezing fog
surrounds the watchtower. Who don't mind

the chill and damp. Whose minds
are focused on the rising moon, heart-
shot by arrows of silver fog.
Whose eyes shine with vigilance.
They are standing guard,
not against, but for truths beneath skin.

If in danger, save your skin.
If ignorant, feed your mind.
In the first case, be on guard,
in the second, study the Art
that is longer than life. Your vigilance
must first pierce your own fogs.

Guardianship or vigilance,
words for the mind, words for the heart.
Fog bites bone-deep, but spares the skin.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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