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  • Daniel G Opperwall

presume


Jan Steen, life of Man, 1665


Do you presume to own what you did not make

and so to have in hand your body, its all--

and so to have in hand what you, stealing, take,

then set out before the world when come to call

in silver sets, in teacups brimful with gall?

Do you presume to own what you did not build

what had long before your memoria been willed?

Do you presume to write of eternal writ

that fabrics in and over sea, sky and you,

that the pieces of your very being fit

and fixed and left for freedom's soft, vibrant hue

that if right mixed could have been e'en Rublev's blue?

Do you presume to write of the holy known

lest the point wherein you vanish not be your own?

Do you presume to sit, sharp critic, and weigh

the balance of a score that you've yet to hear

in full, and that should you ever, yourself, play

would far outstrip the strength of your mind and ear,

your fingers on the keys transformed in your fear?

Do you presume to sit, and yourself discern

a music that the masters could not even learn?

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