On Two Men Talking             A. J. Heskett 
What shall we say about passion?
That it leads us wrongly in love?
That in life, reason apprehends insight
teaches sense, steers commonly
the path rightly toward that higher
that truer the better mind?

But without passion for it no one covets the better mind.

In passing, do we really error lifting
high those ecstasies of moment
if we hold them dearly remembering well
all that encompass the making of them?
The doubts, the greed, the joy of possession
being near that which is larger than oneself
the love of another?

In passion is all grief and understanding.

One pokes through the old fires, remembering
the past, laying sentiment over coarse
and sombre events, hoping for purpose,
some meaning beyond the facts. It's here
passion reveals the coward or the brave;
for here in the faithless void of a godless world,
is retreat or the heart again trying.

'Oh you are romantic and live in the past' you say.

It's true. You think it mediocrity, but I think it a good place.

'You are sentimental and live in the past' again you say.
And again, it's true. I long for things unrecognized by futile actuarials
outside the limits of compensation, beyond ambition or contract.
There's a good place, an excellent place for rustic insights
and sugar dreams of mystical existence, for the unknown forces within
and strong urges pure and clear in their implications
free of faint words, the pathology of order and simple minds enslaved for generations!'
Do I long for Donna Reed? For heroes? For conscience?
Not so much as freedom from chug-a-lug street posers
with guns, microphones dull answers and rhythm.

'Oh so rightous' he says, 'do you not know of human nature or Rouseau?'

Enough! I will practice my hard eye open, and listen to what people really say.
I will respond by telling children to live as if there were tommorows
but not so many as they think nor so important as they seem
and to live in full knowledge of passion, and blood and with piercing
clarity of each moment spent in mediocrity.

AJH 1986

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