What Blind Men See (poetry)

What Blind Men See  

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Come my friends and listen close
To a tale of great interest 
About five blind men arguing 
Over who had seen the best 

Perhaps by chance, perhaps by fate,
Perhaps ‘cause they were blind
The prince who ruled over the land
Decided to be kind

“Dear and loyal subjects,”
Spoke the prince so nobly
“I extend an invitation
To my menagerie.” 

Happily and humbly
The five honored his request
Entering the royal zoo 
As honored royal guests 

All was well and all was fine
Until they chanced upon 
A creature new to every man
Which they speculated on 

“What a marvelous encounter,” 
Said the first blind man,
“I can feel a heaving wall,
Just beneath my hand.” 

“That can’t be right,” said the next, 
“For I clearly feel a rope,”
“It’s a tree trunk,” said the third,
“And you’re both clearly dopes” 

“Hush you fools,” chided the fourth
“For if anything is clear,
My blind hands can surely tell,
What they hold is a spear.” 

The fifth one simply laughed and laughed
“How can you all mistake?
An animal common to this land
For I clearly touch a snake!” 

All the men were equals
Equally all blind
Equally all incorrect 
All equally resigned 

Hearing the ceaseless bickering 
Now coming from the group
The prince appeared among them 
To see if peace he could recoup 

Patiently he listened 
To each man’s point of view
And putting them together
The prince saw what was true

“There is no need to argue here,
For not one is wholly right,
And until your views combine
No one gains full sight

The creature that you met today
Does match your descriptions
But you'd rather argue fruitlessly
Than view other positions 

For today you met an elephant 
With sides wide as a wall 
With a tail just like a rope
And legs all tree-trunk tall 

A trunk winding like a python
And tusks sharp as a spear 
Each one wrong, each one right 
Are the five blind men here 

If a whole and complete picture
Is your desire true
You must extend the scope of sight
Beyond one’s perceived view.”

Once the prince had spoken
The five blind men headed home
United in agreement 
The prince had earned his throne

So my friends, I hope you learned,
Like our blind protagonists,
Wisdom considers angles
While ego blindly insists

Thank you for reading my poetic retelling of an Indian fable. The photo and words are mine, even if the original story is not. 


May Good Vibes Echo Loudest

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