Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recent Poetry, July 2106

The Next-Best Thing
Upon seeing through
To your unkindness,
Despair only modestly,
For that seeing-through
Happens to be
The next best thing
To kindness itself.

And when
You at last perceive
Your greediness,
Be of relative good cheer,
As that perception
Is the next best thing
To generosity.

But when
You finally discover
The astonishing vastness
Of your ignorance
Rejoice, without qualification,
Because that discovery
Is the next best thing
To wisdom.
Not even next-best.


I once heard that
If you’re sloppy 
When you bring your
Palms together
To make a bow,
Allowing any space
At all between your fingers,
You’ll be reborn
As a monkey multiple
Times (I’ve forgotten
How many), which is an
Inauspicious thing,
In case you were wondering.
Upon hearing this,
I reasonably rolled my eyes.
But ever since,
Every time I attempt
That lovely gesture,
My fingers stick together
As though glued thus.

Vegetarian Song

Shabkar, Edison, and Kafka,
All believed that we don’t hafta
Eat no fellow sentient being.
On that point they were agreeing.

k d lang and I concur:
The mammal with its precious fur
Is not the sort I’d ever wish
To eat. Nor fowl, nor bug, nor fish.

For all these worthies. doncha see,
Like Saint John Chrysostom, and me,
And you, just want to live in peace.
And if their suffering cannot cease

Completely, then my small attempt,
Like Gandhi, will be to preempt
The anguish of just one of such,
Reducing suffering just that much.

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