Patrick Kavanagh

Untitled (His conscience asked him : Are you wise)

His conscience asked him: Are you wise
Have you had experiences
That make it essential you write or speak?
Have you a message for the weak
Whose insane hate at Serenity glares
From the corner of a pub beneath the stairs
Wanting to bash the confident face
Of one too calm in a great madhouse?
Can you show sick hearts where Purpose lies 
Pregnant with all possibilities
So that a man no longer requires
To be fed daily madness by uncomforting liars?

The answer to this is that there is none
No answer, no message from experience won
Advice forever explores the banal
So let us walk along the banks of the canal
On this summer evening and realise
This was the water that mirrored our childhood eyes
And this grass and these reeds
Can give the protection the soul needs
Isn't it extraordinary, discovered
That a man who has read, thought, suffered
More than many a [man] and has met
Thousands of interesting people yet
Can only offer to the hungry mass
Unkempt water and the immortality of grass

Knowledge does not take the stage
At the prompting of an age
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