Life Lessons

A Hard Thing

Felix Dennis
July 29, 2006
Mandalay, Mustique
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A hard thing: learning we were never free.
And learning — should by luck we sniff it out
Eventually — that we would find no key:
That each discovery would breed more doubt.

Nothing is free, nothing that walks or swims
Or grows or flies, nothing that bites or gnaws,
Nothing that ever crawled on scaly limbs—
The rocks on which we stand are bound by laws

That fools in cleric’s robes claim for their own,
While blinding others eyes to what is plain—
That this whipped ball and every star now known
Is but a speck in tyranny’s domain.

A gaol.  A holding cell.  A cage disguised
With open seas, with rolling plains, wide skies,
And time-warped galaxies.  A trick devised
By God knows what to soothe the mind and eyes

Of its inhabitants.  Oh, it’s big enough,
I’ll grant you that— but, then, is size the point?
Is Thought the point?  Are Love or Death a bluff?
Which idol is it men must now anoint?

There is no point.  A gaol is just a gaol.
Go kiss your Warden’s arse— and leave me be.
Say what you will , a prison’s air grows stale:
And nothing ever was, or will be, free.