“He wanted to free himself from his own image…In a strange way his freedom was achieved.”

–Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  Once upon a midday bright

A gull landed on his rail in flight

Here he was outside his door

Perched on rail forevermore

As he woke from his long nap

Suddenly he heard a tap

A tap tap tapping on his lighthouse door

Only this an nothing more


Presently he rose to see

What this bird meant to be

As he opened up the lighthouse door

Perched the bird forevermore

What gives? He said to the gull

As he preens his wings to his skull

What words of wisdom for me to see?

Quoth the gull:

You are free


I am free?  Whoop-ti-dee

Is that all you can say to me?

Did you traverse all this way

To tell me I am free today?

Tell me something I don’t know

Tell me something, say it slow

You woke me from my reverie

Quoth the gull:

You are free


Ye who sit upon the rail

Tell me this, do not fail

What brings you to this perch?

I think you know it’s not a church

It’s not a citadel as well

It is a lighthouse, you can tell

It gives a beacon for all to see

And now you tell me I am free



In this time of strife and storm

Will you tell me it’s the norm

To be unshackled, to be unchained

From troubles be unclaimed?

Oh ye who glide upon the sea

What is it you have to say to me?

Quoth the gull:

You are free


Free at last, free at last

Thank God almighty free at last

He had heard this somewhere is his past

Now he thought–not so fast

What did all this freedom mean

He wondered what meaning glean

From this gull’s pronouncements from the sea

Quoth the gull:

You are free


What use is freedom? he asked the bird

Is this theater of absurd?

Free to do what, he asked

Tell me now what to task

Tell me now, just you and me

Quoth the gull:

You are free


He gave up and closed the door

Wondered what was the message for?

As he looked outside, it was fitting

The messenger gull still is sitting

Still is sitting as if on a tree

And still is quoting:

You are free




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