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In Search of Self

In search of Self I looked into the mirror and saw two staring eyes
They glanced at me and threatened my demise
Informing me without speaking that I was not wise.

“The foolish man in searching sees only his reflection
He looks about him glancing, empty of detection
His search is foolish, childish, and so he finds dejection.”

Those whispers in my ears were soothing voices, pleading
That I should pause and bide their heeding
The voices of creation that are always kneading

In search of Self my ego came to rest
To pause a moment ‘fore that fearful quest
Giving warning I was being put to test.

A pilgrim must consider the roadblocks on The Way
He’ll often fall and stumble, may even cry out, “Nay!”
The journey has its perils, the battle is each day.

The journey may start early, at the very prime of life
The pilgrim may thus speculate that life indeed is rife
Not knowing that the journey is accomplished, full of strife.

From prime of life the Journey alters
Passing into midlife where the seeker often falters
Discovering that his ego falters as his psalters.

The ego to find comfort, must pay obedience to the soul
The journey’s not been flawless, having had its toll
Life’s highway has its obstacles, its treasure is the goal.

Now old age creeps upon us while Wisdom stays at bay
Meandering, the traveler begins to kneel and pray
How longer is the journey, where does that treasure lay?

From old age life transitions into yet another stage
It is a stage of silence, it is a numinous phase
It is the epilogue of life’s prologue, yet another age.

The pathways of the journey are not linear, rather round
Like waves in the ocean, like a booming echoing sound
Beckoning the worthy pilgrim
That life’s journey’s to become crowned.

A worthy royal traveler that finds the golden treasure
Must toil and yet not plunder, must know the goal is worth his measure
That the sacred golden treasure awaits his divine pleasure.

About this poem

The Ancient Greek aphorism “Know Thyself,” transcribed in the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, as well as Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage” lines uttered by Shakespeare’s character Jacques to Duke Senior in Act II, Scene VII of the play, As You Like It, have in many ways framed my intellectual thought processes from early childhood. Growing up as a student in Colonial Jamaica during the 1950’s, I thrived on many of the plays of the Bard of Avon, often reciting some of them while attending high school. This poem is a reflection on the intervening stages of life that have occurred in my life, then and now. 

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Written on September 21, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on September 21, 2021

1:43 min read

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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