by Clay Howard | First Rritten 1970

I love my ignorance.

What a wonderful friend

It has been!

It has sheltered me

From complexity

And honed my simplicity.

I am grateful for my ignorance.

It has allowed me to live

With the capacity to forgive

With naivety,

A conjured empathy

Aloof to frivolity.

I respect my ignorance.

It has portrayed the best in man

In every way it can,

Painted the finest fantasy

Over the canvas of mans’ savagery

And inhumanity.

How precious is my ignorance!

It cannot see the devious

And is oblivious.

It always tries to find

Something divine

In the most evil mind.

I admire my ignorance.

It has held me above religions,

Their hatreds and divisions.

And though I cannot see

Into our mysterious destiny

There remains a strange peace in me.

I find balance in my ignorance.

Along the thin line

Of a hungry mind

There is knowledge without vanity

And each little discovery

Only opens the depths of a mystery.

There are wings in my ignorance.

It flies above the clouds of greed,

Sails beyond opulent need.

And, in the turmoil of prattle and theory

It has lifted my liberty

Above the flocks of bigotry.

My ignorance is a fire

Consuming the frivolous

While preserving the obvious.

It makes ashes of unfounded conclusions

And cautions me of illusions.

It purges my shame

In its’ gentle flame.

Ignorance fosters my hope.

Despite all human stupidity

It oppresses futility.

In the ravages of tragedy

And all sufferings and inhumanity

It sings the song of sanity.

Ignorance is my youth.

Despite the wisdom of experience

It plans with the vigor of diligence.

With all my reservations

And all my hesitations

It fills me with expectations.

I am grateful to my ignorance

As it protects my intelligence

From the sickness of arrogance,

Tempers the pen to the page,

Makes wine of my rage

And bread of my age.

Ignorance ignores my time.

It does not fret upon what was

Or wring its’ hands on what the future does.

Only the moment is the treasury

Of value to what we see

And what was or will ever be.

Ignorance has no fear.

It does not know

From where I come or where I go.

Ignorance has no anxiety

Whether death is a finality

Or a part of immortality.

Ignorance protects my motives.

My goodness is for goodness sake.

Though feeble, I am not a fake

Seeking the favor of judgmental lords

For divine rewards

Or my exclusiveness among the mortal hoards.

Ignorance preserves my sense of wonder.

It sets aside education

And scolds procrastination.

Every flower and creature is full of light.

Every day of sun or moonlit night

Is a marvel to my simple sense of sight.

I hope Ignorance will remain with me.

Should there be an immortal living,

Knowing everything would be unforgiving,

Painful to know the course is run,

Like a burnt-out sun,

Knowing its’ venture is, inescapably, done.

-Clay Howard-