The Poetry of
Jack Scott

Simpler Minded Men

Simpler minded men
find consolation
in simpler minded women
than you.
I, too, seek solace,
but of a stronger brew :
a bracing tonic,
a healing tea, a challenging complexity.

Your quest is solitude,
yet how almost rude
to those bound to you
by a sort of loving glue
to deal with us as strangers
to each other and to you.

You see your self
(Narcissus did)
until the mirror rippled.
(Narcissus hid)
Your reflection didn’t show
what lurked
in the depths
below who you thought you were.
Marriage to a stranger now
through richer, poorer, sickness, health
‘til death divorces you
from yourself
is the venue where you seek
what makes you so unique
and also quite alone.

I seek in solace
what you seek in solitude,
consummation of a union
although you may not know it:
companion for an expedition
implicit or declared
through the wilderness,
confusion halved and courage doubled,
holding hands through gauntlets,
exorcising spooks and goblins,
plumbing the abyss,
organizing chaos,
taming savagery,
each of us a guide,
a trusted compass.

Since your self is what you seek
search for it with, perhaps,
but not in others.
Although you may expect Eureka
followed by a thunderclap,
even though you think you have a map
along a friendless path
you may not know how to read it .

Solitude can envelop solace
and solace, solitude.

Stand by those who love you
(me, for instance);
you may need us in the end.
Alone or not, we go.

L33 ®Copyright 1966 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.