Guess Not –by Ken McKeon

Spent most of yesterday trying to make up my mind,
Effort was much harder than I thought,
For the thought was part of the mind that I
Was trying to make up, or so I guessed,
And the guess showed up as a frail weakling,
A crutch bound wondering that seemed to fear
Even a hobbling along try at findIng out
Just what was what So what was I to do?

I invited the guess to come on in and take a seat.
It was so shy, so dear, it lingered by the door,
Took a kindly nudging word or two to make it move,
But once in, guess what? it started to despair:
It knew so little and wished so much to be
Other than it was, to be a real live certainty
And not a guess at all, not simply an inkling
Bent on proposing a possibility it wasn’t all that sure about.

So you don’t want to be a guess at all, is that it?
I think so, said guess, sheltering its troubled head
In it’s quavering hands, but I do not really know.
So just what is this think? Near as I can tell,
The think is a stepping into a realm made up
Of light and shadow, forms of sorts, thoughts
Like the rare beat of a usually silent drum,
I touch an echo and take its hint to swim within
Feeling shadows, breaking dawns, a world of wonder,
I ride a pulse, I find anew a tune, a tone I’ve never heard,
The thought itself sings of its source alone, but it’s given
In a language I do not know.
In fact, the thought’s not there, its it
Isn’t anymore, beyond that there’s nothing to be known.
And can you know nothing? I don’t know about that.
I’m not speaking of that, I’m speaking of nothing.
I don’t know. What does know? Nothing, I guess.
Well can’t you make your mind up about that?

Guess not.

–a poem by Ken McKeon

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