philosopher james

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

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