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Updated on January 22, 2015

Sisyphus and Diogenes are good friends

who meet every hundred years (give or take)

to compare notes, which Dio calls

Unprogress Reports.

Dio has a sense of humour.

Syph, not so much.

They meet at a tiny wayside inn

nestled in the jagged shadows

of Syph's mountain, 'cause he needs

to stay close to his rock

and Dio does a lot of walking


They both order roasted lamb

(the only meat on the menu)

and roasted potato

(the only vegetable on the menu)

and a skinful of the potent red wine

their host makes in the same hut

where he slaughters the lambs.

Syph always throws back

three mugs in a hurry and

just as quickly

becomes morose and snarly--

“goes with the nature of m'work,”

he slurs.

Dio says “No! as symbols

we fill the same bill--

you're as solid as rock,

but not “over the hill”.

(Syph is always too drunk,

so misses the joke).

Dio finishes off with

“I'm subtle and ironic.”

And so it goes every one hundred years,

two old friends


the same old words,

their voices drifting

quietly on the shadows

of the insurmountable mountain

that protects and obstructs

the Truth.

Dio always ends the evening

talking to the thinning shadows, but

the lamb is always tasty,

the wine rich and deep red.

© clark cook


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    • profile image

      Moonfroth 3 years ago

      Thank you Neil! Delighted to have someone--and a fellow Canadian at that--enjoy an "old" piece. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this poem. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 3 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Cool............. I like your style....... not as much as your wife tho - as you said in your Bio "she likes you a lot" .... LOL keep on enjoying your writing and your bouncing from cold to hot

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Witty piece-- so much to love here

      Unprogress Reports.

      I love that

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Thanks Lillian! I'm really glad it seems alive for you. Actually, according to the myth, Diogenes is still searching the world for an honest man!!!

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Love this more the second time... save me a mouthful of that rich wine... love the ending, how do two gods sound like a married couple? love yaz, lily

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Ah yes, my friend. With the allegory of the cave in mind, I can imagine Plato declaring that about 4 billion of us are living i the shadows...and one need not go on! Are you familiar with George Santayana's DIALOGUES IN LIMBO (1925), where he puts together in conversation various notables (say Aristotle and Lord Russell) separated in time, and they duke it out. Quite, quite mind-boggling in its effect on me as a kid trying to think. Quite apart from that, it's a grand and goofy idea and I really enjoyed using the idea to frame my piece. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      Imaginative and witty piece....I think there are perhaps many philosophers throughout the ages that could produce their own 'unprogress reports'; which ones they are, I suppose is a matter of opinion.

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Wow. Many thanks Jaye. glad you enjoyed the piece, and thanks for visiting.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Magnificent! Thanks for sharing this, Jim. I must agree with both Jim and Colin about the exceptional talent that wrought these verses.

      Voted Up++


    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      X -- many thanks! Writing it was a lot of fun and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Epi is so right! This is a deltightful, witty piece of writing with a philosophical message as well. Such great characters and sly puns. As to the messge in the last verse, well... sometimes that is as good as it gets isn't it.

      I will share this one!

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Man! Do you know how to make a guy's day/night, or what? Coming from a poet with your amazing range--very much including the comedic--your complement is appreciated ten-fold. Many thanks, my friend, I'm happy that you enjoyed it. Now go get on the outside of that coffee..............

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Well Sir Clark - you certainly took my breath away with this fine and witty piece. There are enough classic lines on your hallowed page here to even stop Larry David or Woody Allen in their satirical paths.

      I even have to award you a spot on the Hub Louvre wall of fame for your writing here which reminds me very much of that guy from lake erie ontario , lol.

      I guess you could say that great minds think alike and that we are truly kindred spirits.

      Hubbravo to you my friend - it's 6:35am and I haven't tasted my first coffee yet and I'm already high from reading your immortal and funny words