Archive for April, 2014

the life of dragons

April 30, 2014

we here once were dragons
who in this pit did dwell
a fire-breathing brotherhood
conceived and forged in hell

beset by constant evil
compelled by one just aim
we shed a peaceful softer skin
for scales, and wings, and flame

we never looked for glory
we never sought a fight
but any harm or wrong be done
and we would put it right

no enemy or conflict
brought fear or gave us pause
though fierce, we acted fairly
according all our laws

for decade upon decade
we served our village well
we took up every single cause
we answered every bell

but something of all violence
it cuts, it takes a part
from what remained for each of us
a warm and gentle heart

and so, while we’re still able
to set the world on fire
the kindest thing you all can do
is let your friends retire

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philosopher james

April 22, 2014

it seemed at times
all Greek to him
or so you’d think
to speak to Jim

he never stated
what he knew
instead he chose
to question you

with ‘i don’t know’
and ‘what do you think?’
or wistful words
like a nod or a wink

but somewhere, there
as you tried to explain
the answer appeared
it was clear, it was plain

you knew it, you had it
and he knew it too
but he thought it better
coming from you

for jim, at his best
was able to see
the best within us
and all we could be

a thought, then a challenge
his only advice
our solutions obtained
through socratic device

with cases, with issues
and, often, much more
we found ourselves wiser
than ever before

his wisdom continues
in a long list of names
all colleagues, all students
of philosopher james

for my mentor, friend, and colleague Jim McLane upon his pending retirement