I was young and naive
and among kindred souls
in a harbor for curiosity,
in a comradeship in inquiry
hoped to be.
I worked hard and somehow shone,
but I refused to please and bow.
Loads of darkness and philistinism,
pettiness and nepotism,
I came to see.
My heart-mind understood
that something wasn’t right,
I had grown a stranger,
and no longer felt part.
And so I left.
I did not slam the door,
as Nietzsche did.
but just as T’ao Yuan-Ming,
calm and resolute,
walked out of that inn.
I now stand alone out in the unknown,
and the wisdom of ancient sages implore:
admired spirits! help me inside grow
a garden of serenity, understanding and joy
upon which the Sun will always gently glow.
(on recently leaving my last academic post)