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SAGE

By John I. Blair

A small Chinese wood carving
Smiles among my desk debris,
Stroking his stringy beard,
His squat, bald body
Garbed in robe and cloak.

He rests the strangest staff
Across his shoulder,
Looking like a dragon with
All its teeth gnashing, no paws,
And two fish for a tail.

I donít know who this man is
Or why he stares at me
So boldly, amusedly,
But suspect that itís because
He portrays a sage.

Like most sages worth their salt
He knows the wisdom of the ages,
But intends to make me guess
Just as I must guess
What he is holding.

Sages have weird ways.
Think of Archimedes
Dashing naked, shouting,
Through the streets of Syracuse
Or Einstein sticking out his tongue.

©2004 John I. Blair


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