It’s up to you…

whatever_dismissiveThis is a test,
if you think it is;
if not,
then it’s just called life.

with caution, if
is what helps,
but if brakes
slow you down
then let go;
stop fighting gravity
(it always wins anyway).

Find time
to do what you’ve
always wanted to do,
or make it
as if you are your own
willing your telos
out of dust,
out of your own dust.

or barrel ahead,
ignore speed bumps,
or avoid streets
with them;
or not,
it’s up to you.

Hunger for an ivory tower…

The refusal
to end, to
stop, to repeat
will be his end
he hopes;
forever hungry
for food which satisfies
yet only
appetite for more
to gorge,
swallow and chew and
search again,
from below,
from within with
a careful ear
for word,
a tearful eye
for song,
a laughing heart
for joy,
a pouting spirit
for grief,
an impatient wit
for pretense but a
for citizenship in an
ivory tower
where desire
is the menu and
his appetite will be
his end,
he hopes.

On the Termination of Professor

All the tenured others have a name,
but he had transcended delimiters
and his surname became what was
for others simply a title – Professor.

Such was his reputation, amassed
over years of walks across the quad,
tattered tweed and unkempt, thinning
hair, never so proud so as to style.

His flair was the attentive mind
of the absentminded academic, but
he knew where every scrap of paper,
book, idea, and every word rested.

The office was never neat, swept,
untouched by time even dust shunned,
a couch for naps, chairs for stacks
of papers begun and undone.

Diplomas, awards hung on a wall
hidden behind tassels, programs of
graduations long ago, and three walls
shelve-covered and book burdened.

Office hours maintained sacredly
but scarcely attended but for a few;
puzzling and time passed to most,
sought and honored by only some.

Matter of fact questions earned the
reply of a tale, legend, story to explain
the unexplainable why ; every plea for
a story earned a who-what-when-where.

His time had passed, but he stood still
convinced that learning was progress
granted the guarantee of title his battle
was now one of perceived value.

Once freshman seminar his load,
now only electives and covering
for sabbaticals of the young, restless
who used post- in journal submissions.

Post-tenure review was the remedy
from a utilitarian board in the know,
failing to manage an unsustainable shift
from Professor to professionals.