Learning to Flourish for Dan DeNicola Are we humans half empty or half full? A race of oxymorons, we’re wise fools Or doltish sages, subject to the pull Of appetite and passion, flouting rules Of reason and decorum on a whim, The urgings of perverse or selfish drives That make the light of righteousness go dim, Without which nothing wondrous ever thrives. For human beings to flourish as we ought We need to cultivate the wisdom in Our hearts that may be either taught or caught, Since wisdom is the way beyond our sin. For only when we fully realize Our sapience will Homo saps grow wise. Wondrous Us However did we come into our being? If we can’t answer that, we know enough To say that beyond all of what we’re seeing There’s something underlying cosmic stuff. Call that a spirit or intelligence, An ordering principle or guiding force That, peering inward, we may deeply sense: It is a marvelous and mysterious source. And yet, of all the wonders that we see, Though probing to the universal verge Or spying energy from mass emerge, There’s none we find more wondrous than we. And that we’re here to think and wonder so Is evidence of what we cannot know. Wayward Though other creatures ask What, Where and How, the solely human question posed is Why, to which the universe will not reply until we learn the wisdom of the Tao. It’s only when we enter in the flow and meet all that assails us gracefully by bending, turning, yielding can we free ourselves from bafflement and truly know. Yet what we learn so arduously is what those other creatures come by naturally: no headway comes from heads; it’s from the gut we get our best instructions how to be. The Why we ask is answered by the way that universal Law all must obey. Sacred Ground On what ground may we stand unanimous On universal principles prescribed By ageless sages for each one of us, Who by our kind compliance are allied? The ground of our humanity is found In loving kindness, wherein we all are kin, Whereby gentility and care abound, As through such practice we’re absolved of sin. Cosmology for Duane Elgin The Cosmos is the universe conceived As orderly, coherent and alive, Which is a concept formerly believed That some today are aiming to revive. Despite materialists who apprehend A world reduced to mass and energy, Inspired cosmologists will yet contend That Spirit gives it all vivacity, That consciousness comes first, intelligence Informing all that manifests as real, For how could merely matter summon sense Or all this vital panoply reveal? Though Newton taught us how to calculate, There’s more displayed to those who meditate. Alan Nordstrom is a Professor of English at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.