The Poetry of
Jack Scott

Local Knowledge Only

The unknown surrounds
in a limitless sea of time:
past, present, future
inner, outer
and some kind of up and down.

Lacking charts,
whether lost or not,
when we think faith is steering,
we are drifting, drifting.
A sense of direction, even in error,
is better than none
and no sense of it.
Lacking purpose,
trust is sense of purpose,
not compass,
but enough to get from here to there,
a choice to make the best of it,
even if it should be nothing or wrong.
Trust is hard to teach oneself,
too slippery to learn from others.
We’ve been bought too cheaply by fear.

Some waters are charted
“Local Knowledge Only”
known through trial and error,
handed down as lore.

For the broader waters
you need to simply know
that the earth’s not flat
and take that on faith.


343 ®Copyright 1973 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.