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Thales of Miletus

by Janet Schofield

The world of Thales, pre-Socratic,
Was rich in Psyche and aquatic.
Not – as previously suggested –
on a giant tortoise rested.
His world was cushioned, stable,
upon water which was able
due to its supportive nature
to provide a balanced stature.

Now Thales was indeed content
to postulate this element
as what was under and around
preventing us from falling down,
explaining all the means employed
that stopped us dropping in The Void.

Ah, Thales, if he had but noted
properties of things that floated,
and, perhaps, had lobbed a portion
of the world into the ocean –
He’d have seen clear and distinct
phenomena not ‘float’ but ‘sink’.

Alas for Thales’ watery thesis,
Anaximander tore it to pieces.
He claimed ’twas vastly overrated
all that Thales stipulated.
Said the Earth was stationary
due to forces not contrary.
Said it had no cause to fall.
It had no reason –
that was all.
No urge to go in any way,
So static it would always stay,
preferring where it happened best
to movement north, south, east or west.

Now, arguing upon the notion
are we still or is there motion?
Could be either truth informing
…..or philosophically boring.
The moral of it simply being
there’s more to things
than’s seen in seeing…

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