Path

It wasn't the path of truth it was simply a path

red roots cut across it pine needles alongside
and the forest full of berries and flitting spirits

it wasn't the path of truth for all of a sudden
it lost its unity and from then onward in life
our aims have been unclear

On the right was a source

if you chose the source you went on dark rungs
into ever-deeping darkness groping blindly
toward the mother of elements honored by Thales
in order to merge with the moist heart of things
with the dark kernel of the cause

On the left was a hill

the hill offered peace and a general view
the border of the forest its shadowy mass
no separate leaves trunks or strawberries
soothing knowledge the forest is one of many

Is it truly not possible to have them together
the source and the hill the idea and the leaves
and pour out purality without satanic ovens
of dark alchemy of a too bright abstraction

-zbigniew herbert (1956-1998)

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