poems

6/26/2013

Keeping Fit

Huffing and puffing, winded from following the powermower
Over the broad expanse of much-too-large lawn;
A proud carpet of green around our modest home.

And “Yes, I am wearing a cap in the hot sun,”
In answer to my graying son’s query
To his balding, aging father.

And “Okay, I’ll take a break,”
When my equally aging, ever-watchful wife
Appears on the porch deck
In her periodic inspection of yard activity.

Between the steady cycles of never-ending mowing,
There is planting—and replanting—of growing things,
Requiring mulching, watering, and tender love and care.

It is “keeping fit,” along with occasional swimming,
Walking, and a knack for resting when required.

We like to think it is working.

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Etruscan Tomb

A hole in the side of a mound,

A tomb inside the hill,

An Etruscan burial place

Raises many questions still.

 

Of who and what and why

Behind that ancient rite

Of putting to rest the dead

For the long, eternal night.

 

They are found in the Tuscan earth,

Dating from long ago,

Planted like seeds in the soil

From which the legends grow.

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Clever?

6/30/1990

CLEVER?

To be clever, one would think, is good.

But to not be clever might be better.

For cleverness seeks ways to reveal itself, thus tends to diminish modesty, which of the two, perhaps is less productive but is more becoming.

And cleverness, without compensating virtues, tends to have more enemies than friends.

Cleverness can be a useful tool; but in careless hands it can cause problems for one who exploits it as well as for others.

But let’s not condemn cleverness out of hand. Without it we might live still in an unlighted cave.

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The Magic Button

6/25/1990

THE MAGIC BUTTON

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a magic button we could push to turn the world into a happy place of wish-fulfillment!

How marvelous it would be if we could turn off our woes like shutting a water tap! If we could summon up cheer and joy like turning on a light to brighten a room . . . or a life!

It is all quite possible. That magic button is within reach of each of us.

Of course we cannot change our lives with a wish, but we can greatly alter our perceptions and therefore our attitude. And joy or gloom basically are attitudes.

If we want joy we must perceive the joyful things in our lives. If all we see is the gloom, that is all we will know of life.

But as with most achievements, this happy state requires some effort.

Attitudes are like habits. Good ones are difficult to develop. And bad ones are tough to put aside.

But a happier life just might be worth the effort.

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OPTIMISM

OPTIMISM

4/22/1990

 

Optimism . . . it’s magic! It’s essential!

There is the story about two boys—the Optimist and the Pesssimist.

The Pessimist receives a gift of a pony but cannot ride it for fear of falling off, and other bad things that can happen.

The Optimist receives a truck full of horse manure. He plows into it, digging through it because “With all this manure, there must be a pony in here somewhere.”

So we approach life with optimism or pessimism.

The optimist scales the magic mountains. The pessimist sits at the bottom thinking of reasons he cannot get to the top.

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Reality

March 13, 1990

REALITY?

How real is reality? Or is “reality” colored and influenced by our own beliefs and prejudices.

Probably we see things a great deal the way we want to see it rather than as it actually is.

So, do we go through life in a pseudo-real world . . . our own “real” world? Very likely; and is that bad? Or good?

Depends, I suppose, on how we slant our reality. Could be either good or bad.

Is it better if we remove our colored glasses through which we view life and reality so that we can see and live in the “real” real world?

Again, it probably depends upon the case, because I don’t suppose many are the same.

Interesting to look at individual situations of “tinting” reality—and types of tinting—ie: short-term, single-instance, or long-term view of a life or a time.

More to think about on this subject. Can get into all sorts of reasons for attitudes and actions.

In the broad sense, our idea of reality pretty well can determine our entire approach to life and treatment of it.

Yeah—getting deep. Ponder it.

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