2016 09 18
Everyone at symposium drinks rich wine,
and Publius Ovidius gazes amused
at faces of senators flushed with cheer,
and Arellius Fuscus claps his hands
as Papirius Fabianus exclaims.
"What wisdom have we learned from little children
that no grown philosopher comprehends?"
Everyone laughs and drinks more sparkling wine.
Gazing past pillars of old marble hall,
Marcus Annaeus Seneca sighs deep
and everyone hushes to hear him speak.
"After I saw most of my large tribe killed,
after Scythians attacked our farming villa,
I wandered grieving in cold falling snow
and stopped by a warm fire on wind-buffed beach
where I heard a young girl without eyes sing
that snowflakes are more enduring than man.
For many years while struggling to survive
I pondered meaning of her cheerful proverb,
confused how fragile snowflakes made of water,
frozen by blustering winds from mountain caves,
which may endure for an hour or three months,
endure longer than living conscious man
who can live just over one hundred years.
Then one day as I sat beneath bare tree,
and watched children mold people from bright snow,
I understood deep meaning of her song
while pondering how matter conforms all bodies.
Snow is formed when water freezes to ice
and then it falls to cover land in light,
but then it melts back to water in heat
of warm rays beaming down from bright sun,
and then transforms to silent floating mist.
Water is always water at base
of its substance, whether it forms snow, ice,
cloud, rain, mist, river, pool, lake, ocean, well,
or waterfall, or mixes with moist soil
to nourish seeds, for one whole element
endures as water which gives us all life
when we drink it to sustain energy
that animates our bodies with desire.
When we fail to drink water we become
slow and dry, and bodies crumble to dust,
but when we drink water its fluid power
animates our bodies with flowing motion,
thus water is declared potence of life.
Humans are composed from more than just water,
generated in fertile wombs of mothers
by spirit-animating seed of fathers,
and then we grow by consuming good food
formed from all four whole elements of nature,
but we age, and matter forming our bodies
dissolves back to its fundamental parts
to disappear forever from this world.
Thus snowflakes are more enduring than man."