Truth and Wisdom: Two Travellers

A young traveler saw injustice, waste, wrongdoing and need
and, set out thinking, “I will show all just how clearly I know
how the wrongs that they spread, like so much damaged seed
tear all we have down, so that no good can grow.”

And so along the road, to everyone encountered
he spread the message but still nothing improved.
No matter the passion with which his story was recounted
the listener nodded agreement but still remained unmoved.

Somewhere along the road he met another—
shoes well-worn and dusty, as were her clothes
and after listening to his story for a while, “brother
our voices blend well; let’s journey together,” she proposed

But the traveler slowly shook his head,
“mine is a journey best taken by myself, alone.
No offense, but you are old and I am not,” he said,
“it’s best that way as I travel into the unknown.”

At length, tired and hungry from a day spent on the road
the traveler ended up at a quiet small town square
and so, upon selecting a friendly looking abode
he knocked to see if they had a room and food to share.

“Sorry, no place have I here for you tonight.
Try somewhere else,” and closed the door again.
Undaunted he turned, seeing many more porch lights
Surely he’d get an offer given the many that remained.

Again and again, no offers were to be found
traveler and message found no food or place to stay
and so, exhausted, he sat down and looked around
and saw a familiar face across the way.

She walked up to the same door on which at first he’d knocked
and to his surprise saw her welcomed right inside.
From his vantage point he saw how they all laughed and talked,
sharing the food and space he’d been denied.

Until at last once again she came back out to the street
and after waving her hosts goodbye did see him all alone.
She held out her hand and helped the traveler to his feet
saying, “come let us find a place in someone’s home.”

“But you can see that I am not welcome anywhere!
Here, I have found no friend or offer to come inside.”
“It will be different, you’ve no reason to despair,
now you are travelling with me,” the gentle friend replied.

I know that you are Truth, bringing a message that needs to be heard
and Truth is something people do not often wish to hear or see.
But I am Wisdom and will help you with your words
and while not welcome by yourself you are when accompanied by me.

And so now, each time you hear Truth calling out aloud
the hard fought things that he has found about this land
perhaps you can go to him and help him search the crowd
for Wisdom, that her guidance will aid Truth and help us understand.


About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
This entry was posted in Newfoundland and Labrador, poetry/songs, Society and Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Truth and Wisdom: Two Travellers

  1. Michelle H says:

    And so it is. I want to think on this a bit, but is there anything to add except it is wonderful, a bit sad and hopeful all at once?

    • Thank-you. This one came about as a reaction to (1) a folk tale I’d heard on THIS episode of Ideas:
      and (2) a sickened feeling I’ve been developing listening to the public “discourse” in my province on the Muskrat Falls project in which those that speak in public choose a 100% polarized opinion that it is all good/bad and all those associated are sanctified/evil.
      You probably get the same stuff in regards to the oil and gas developments in your province and likely feel the same as I, namely, that we’d all be better served if everyone would go away, do their homework, and try and engage in a CIVIL (pun intended) conversation around the topic, exploring it in its full complexity.

  2. Mary Duffy says:

    Enjoyed this thoughtful poetic reflection on truth and wisdom. Great to see you posting again!

  3. It’s beautifully poignant. We are lucky if we manage to achieve a little of either.

    • Thank you. I think a lot of what’s going on never gets to be explored to the depth it needs to for the simple reason that there’s far too much going on and everyone is trying to follow everything. Waste f time. Consider the news and ask, “how much of this can I have an affect on? How much of this affects me directly?” If you are like me, the answer is, “Less than 5% of it.” Still, though, we devote to time to 100% of it even if it’s to listen and chat about it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way to filter out the crap and irrelevant stuff and still get the useful information? If only…

  4. Tiny says:

    What a wonderful poetic musing on truth and wisdom! Both important, but more effective together.

    • Thank you. I find these days that I hear mostly “stuff” and hardly ever get the full context that also contains the values that apply as well as the particular circumstances. Oh–and grace too 🙂

  5. tw says:

    So very true and beautifully written 🙂

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