“The truth is, most wisdom is embittering.  The task of the wise person cannot be to pretend with false naiveté that every moment is new and unprecedented, but to bear the burden of bitterness that experience forces on us with as much uncomplaining dignity as strength will allow.  Beyond that, all we can ask of  ourselves is that bitterness not cancel out our capacity still to be surprised.”
Phillip Lapote

so Nelson Mandela is now
where he’ll never have to crush
another rock

so is Tito, so is Jimmy Stewart
“we are dust” cry the Mujahedeen
“Ask the Dust” suggested John Fante

it’s hard to know
who the smart people are

I suspect the best of them
never reveal a thing
they keep their wisdom
to themselves
hold their cards close to their chests
never raise their hands

at home
in their quiet rooms
they lament over idiocy

put their pants on
one leg at a time
wait, patiently
for the next thing
to happen

Michael Dennis