New Occidental Poetry

The State of Learning

i came to this place,
this city of cobble and brick,
to elevate myself and become a thing i always was,
to prove with paper that i am worthy and worthwhile,
to show my peers and ancestors that i belong in the higher rank.

i came with humility and an open heart,
bringing the best parts of myself,
ready to share and be shared with,
bringing my books, my thoughts, my pen,
and leaving behind my fears and failures.

i came to understand that an open heart is a weakness,
that an open mind is an invitation to folly,
that the best parts of me were fodder for powerful people,
that my books were worthless because they were too old,
that my thoughts and pen would be used and discarded.

i came to believe my fears and failures
were the wages of a sin i did not commit
in a time from which i do not hail
by a people not my own
in a place i have never been.

- Frederick Algernon