Face the Muse-ic

Why the PE complex, Muse,
if they who teach reserve its space
for their own use and our distaste?
Can mortals not be reimbursed
who at their own discomfort pay
for structures springing up today?
When leisure time relieves their woes,
what purpose will enjoyment serve
with signs of Rules and On Reserve?
Can students selfless be in deeds
when faculty fulfill their own needs?

Mortal, thou in anger speak
and judge cruel statements I cannot.
True it is that unfair rules
reside within your PE dome,
but On Reserve of that you speak,
students have use 2 nights a week!
The complex cost, while pay you must,
completely on your fees lies not,
and if withstand the long, red tape,
time is yours to get in shape.
But as for those who must instruct,
be patient while they consecrate.
Recall the saying with meaning told:
The child's new toy soon grows old.

(These are poetic "columns" in which the Muse is invoked and posed a controversial question, which the Muse then answers. Several of the 11 poems were published in the Western Montana College student newspaper, Wescolite, 1968-69 -- this one about restrictive use of a new physical education building.)

What of our state of mind, O Muse,
and why do we of a nation great
not see or sense our obvious fate --
the end that comes from pessimism
and nothing more than criticism.
The people stand with outstretched hand
and shove and push across the land
yet do not see the hour glass sand
is running out and soon will be
draining away to eternity.

Mortal, mortal, your look of gloom,
though not unjust and wholly wrong
is aimed at but the lowly throng,
not at ones who wise will be
enough to keep your country free --
but given time the dawn you'll see.
It's true that some could never care,
could never rise to meet the dare,
would help their country not, yet cry
for aid and welfare until they die.
But most put on the yoke of toil
and to their country are ever loyal.
These people of strength will stand up tall
and by the fates shall never fall.

(a column commenting on social unrest in the late 1960s)

Tell, O muse, of he who ran
that lowly race and won.
What of tales that seem to say
he won his office by decay,
that honor slowly sank away
until empty office soon he held.
His margin slim, all through the day,
so he on ballot box did stand
to make the voters lend a hand.
The one whose victory servered he
is one with honor still to be.
Will wrong keep loser from his post,
and will the victor always boast?

True these tales, O mortal, be,
but grant the victor amnesty.
The hunger of a rat for cheese
will bring a giant to his knees.
Though defeat has been his tea,
a better man the loser be --
knowing that he played it fair,
still only missed it by a hair.
Respect of character has no price,
and lack of honor won't suffice --
the victor lies below the dice.

(a column regarding a narrowly decided student body election)

Timothy Pilgrim