NA (15 December 1973 / London, England)

To God I Promise

My promise is to God for goodness
Is seen. It is muttered on the tongue,
Released by the heart, as it sways
To the bridge of eternity we cross.
I promise God to uphold the laws,
To guard the secrets best left on the heart,
For I need the kindness of a secret.
Let learning be strong for the adolescent,
Its filings are rough as pain, in the middle
Of twin figures we call religions.
Let learning be swift, the captor shall inherit
Peace, the fetter of heaven, the feet of a poem.

The caliph of learning has arrived,
With calculus, and music, and song.
For numbers force us into confusion,
And he uplifts his complexity from them.
Let him cry, let him madly love the strength
Of words, then convict him if he speaks from within
As a sinner, the very real reader of false books.
They are hydraulics of a soul, they are
Ready as plumage, and so appear beautiful,
But where is the beauty in that?

To intrude on the boudoir of fashion
Is to read volumes of work by the same author.
The caliph questions and resolves
According to taste, inside himself.
For the promise of better knowledge
Is upon him, that he consumes several beverages
Of the kind that make people happy,
And in love.
Never accept the man who loves knowledge
And asks for forgiveness from acquiring
Too much of it.
My promise is to God for goodness,
And the tongue shall speak all ills.

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