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.