In Old Age the Poet Seeks the Ancient Wisdom of Lear

And where, pray tell, will you go to from here?
You with those maps that “make it all clear”?
Where in God’s name are you heading from here?
Wipe those fogged glasses, old man, as you stare
into the void and say what you see over there.

What staticky words are you thinking you hear?  
And what’s spinning about in that brain, you old seer?
What thoughts, if any, are drooling in there?
And what’s that you’re feeling? Something called fear?
Pray, tell us your plans to get there from here?
Is that you trying to claw your way over to there?
Now, peer into this cracked crystal ball and stare.
Stare just a bitter longer. into that blank glaze and share
with us all how the shards you’re seeing could ever cohere,
when you don’t have a clue how you even got here.

Copyright © 2023 by Paul Mariani. This poem originally appeared in Image, No. 116 (Spring 2023). Used with the permission of the author.