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For N. Ogino

And now dear friend, that I am not content
You find a fault, and chide me for abuse
Of softer ways. That I must ever choose
Between two roses, and am ever bent
Before some task where only fools are sent
You find a foreign thing.  But you would lose
Therein that somber girl who was the muse
And author of these things---with Tao’s consent.


For in the streets and temples of my youth

I found a braver spirit, and the friend

Whose chidings ended all my childish rest,

And whence the path wound ever toward this truth:

True journeys, once begun, can never end,

And paths that lead us nowhere are the best.


                                                © Jay Clark