Sir William Occam,
from whom we get the term
Occam’s razor, showed us how
to be efficient in our reasoning,
showed us the errors in Saint Thomas Aquinas,
on Aristotle and the Church . . .
Accused of heresy,
he fled on horseback, and
died of the plague in Italy.
We sit on a promontory,
flat surface of sheer black rock;
watch the heavy pound of surf,
the systalic violence in wave and ocean roar.
Higher up, not twenty feet away,
orange-red flowers flutter above the canyon’s shore.
Ice plants are magnified in morning light.
In the fourteenth century,
the world shuddered and knew
that Occam was right,
that once again faith and reason
lived in separate camps,
like step sisters who would not
End of the twentieth century,
computers track the stars, pulsars,
equidistant twin suns in nova,
trapped in a gravity well,
and no one reconciled.
Today, below sheer cliffs
we stand at the western most point,
watch as seals appear, lazily
navigate the brutal ocean wave
and rock of tidal flux.
To see it so easily done takes the breath;
the sea made suddenly serene.
Poems from Louisville Review No. 78, Fall 2015