A Second Wind

If a second wind were granted us
   to fill our flagging sails
could we find the strength to steer our ships
   for Ithaca’s shining shores?
Or would we yet harbor, fearful and frail,
   before Calypso’s gilded doors?
      Is it the doldrums or the soul
      that traps us on bewitching shoals?

If we embarked upon these seas
   and shattered the specious chain,
could we find the craft to navigate
   th’infinite mazen brine,
to castigate Poseidon’s wrath,
   and unwind the fateful skein
      that entangles experience with death
      and weaves the heartbeat with the Breath?

Lo! the suitors are all become the kings.
   Penelope in rank despair
has long since ment her web;
   the son craves the father all in vain
as we languish in this dream of pleasure,
   cheating the blood for the vein
      in dreary deliria of consummation
      and deep and most derelict privation.

Alas for the paralysis of man!
   Alas for our complacencies.
   When every liberty’s in sin
and every power’s rotten sham —
   when our rulers are our enemies,
   and decency is countermand —
      then God grant us moly, mask and mind,
      the heart and the will, and a second wind.

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