Hermes Truant

by Jim Wise (aka Calamus)


laughs and beckons,

dancing, leaping over walls.

We’re not supposed to be here,”

I stammer in my fear.

“Why not?” you smile

and walk me deeper into Forbidden.

“I forgive every sin

you think you ever did.

The only real sin is staying home

and never braving the Road.

Only cowards and sheep

follow all the rules.

Desire, my friend,

and follow where it leads.”

“But isn’t Desire

the source of suffering?”

“And joy.

Is pain too high a price

to pay for ecstasy, for life?

These are gifts, my priest,

my son, as is your time on earth.

Do not spend your days hating

your mortal life in anticipation

of paradise. I will tell you

a secret only mystics, madmen,
and whores know:

You are in paradise now.”

“Then lead me deeper, Holy God,

teach me trespass and let me

see it all.”

Hermes smiled a trickster’s smile,

pointed kerykeon past the sign

that said DO NOT.

“That way.”

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