The Silent Pool
I have discovered finally to-day
This home that I have called my own
Is built of straw and clay,
Not, as I thought, of stone.
I wonder who the architect could be,
What builder made it of that stuff;
When it was left to me
The house seemed good enough.
Yet, slowly, as its roof began to sink,
And as its walls began to split,
And I began to think,
Then I suspected it;
But did not clearly know until today
That it was only built of straw and clay.
Now I will go about on my affairs
As though I had no cares,
Nor ever think at all
How one day soon that house is bound to fall,
So when I'm told the wind has blown it down
I may have something else to call my own.
I have enquired who was the architect,
What builder did erect.
I'm told they did design
Million and million others all like mine,
And argument with all men ends the same:-
It is impossible to fix the blame.
I am so glad that underneath our talk
Our minds together walk.
We argue all the while,
But down below our argument we smile,
We have our houses, but we understand
That our real property is common land.
At night we often go
With happy comrades to that real estate,
Where dreams in beauty grow,
And every man enjoys a common fate.
At night in sleep one flows
Below the surface of all argument;
The brain, with all it knows,
Is covered by the waters of content.
But when the dawn appears
Brain rises to the surface with a start,
And, waking, quickly sneers
At the old natural brightness of the heart.
Oh, that a man might choose
To live unconsciously like beast or bird,
And our clear thought not lose
Its beauty when we turn it into word.
Those quarrelings between my brain and heart
(In which I'd take no part)
Pursue their violent course
Corrupting my most vital force
So that my natural property is spent
In fees to keep alive their argument.
Look downward in the silent pool:
The weeds cling to the ground they love;
They live so quietly, are so cool;
They do not need to think, or move.
Look down in the unconscious mind:
There everything is quiet too
And deep and cool, and you will find
Calm growth and nothing hard to do,
And nothing that need trouble you.
Harold Monro's Other Poems
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