So we had quite the thunderstorm pass though here this morning, which knocked out the power for about an hour. What better time to just sit back with a book and relax? I was flipping through a collection of poems and found a few that I really like. Things that touch your heart and inspire you should be shared.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front – Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
I love how this poem jumps all over the place. It’s about freedom and happiness and living your life. Making no apologies for your quirks or mistakes. Losing your mind in things that are good and genuine. About renewal and new beginnings. Be like the fox who makes more tracts than necessary, some in the wrong direction.
The Life of a Day – Tom Hennen
Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has its own personality quirks which can easily be seen if you look closely. But there are so few days as compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it would be surprising if a day were not a hundred times more interesting than most people. But usually they just pass, mostly unnoticed, unless they are wildly nice, like autumn ones full of red maple trees and hazy sunlight, or if they are grimly awful ones in a winter blizzard that kills the lost traveler and bunches of cattle. For some reason we like to see days pass, even though most of us claim we don’t want to reach our last one for a long time. We examine each day before us with barely a glance and say, no, this isn’t one I’ve been looking for, and wait in a bored sort of way for the next, when we are convinced, our lives will start for real. Meanwhile, this day is going by perfectly well-adjusted, as some days are, with the right amounts of sunlight and shade, and a light breeze scented with a perfume made from the mixture of fallen apples, corn stubble, dry oak leaves, and the faint odor of last night’s meandering skunk.
I’ve been thinking lately how individual days are so hard to remember. To remember every detail of what you saw, what you tasted, what you felt, what you thought… every day experiences make us who we are – so why are all of these specific details so hard to recall? People say to live each day as if it were your last; however, people tend to run with that idea for about two days and then are often back to their regular mundane-ness. But I don’t think that the “live each day as a daring adventure or nothing at all” speech is always necessary. I don’t need to do something risky and bold each day. Because I believe that on my deathbed the last thoughts that will be running through my mind will not be how I did one of the world’s largest bungee jumps in China, or how I circumnavigated the globe. It will be a collective happiness and thankfulness of everything I have experienced, but mostly my thoughts will be filled with those who I have loved and who have blessed my life. Balance your life. Do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable; however, take time to relax. Some of my favorite days have been spent inside during a thunderstorm, and I have no choice but to flip through poetry.
the way it is now –Charles Bukowski
I’ll tell you
I’ve lived with some gorgeous women
and I was so bewitched by those
beautiful creatures that
my eyebrows twitched.
but I’d rather drive to New York
than to live with any of them
the next classic stupidity
will be the history
of those fellows
who inherit my female
in their case
as in mine
they will find
is caused by not
being often enough
The last stanza of this poem is what got me. Another thing I have been thinking about lately (or noticed really throughout life) is how some people will always have a lover in their life. They can be with a certain person for years and years, and as soon as that doesn’t work out within a few weeks they’re already with someone else. So few people take the time to just be with themselves. If you jump from relationship to relationship… how do you know how you’ve grown and changed? Do you really know yourself beyond your personality? What are some things about your personality that you love that doesn’t involve work or your lover or your children? Can you describe yourself without incorporating those things? My point is, take a look at the patterns in your life and look at the deeper meaning. I’ve had to do this a number of times to make sure that I’m doing something for the right reason. Do I want to leave home because I’m running away from something there, or am I leaving because that’s what I feel called to do and can’t imagine doing anything else? So many people are scared of their own thoughts and feelings without even realizing it. It can actually be a really scary thing – because once you have faced the raw honesty of your emotions the choice you have to make is to either keep living this life, or make changes. Living a life you know to be less than its potential, or uprooting everything to be ultimately happy. Know yourself beyond your personality.