How are we to live?

There is so often around us the depressing news of yet another human abuse: a murdered child, a bombing raid on innocent civilians, a homeless person frozen to death, ceaseless stories of children abused by those in a position of trust, and so on, and so on. The world can seem a cruel place. Yet there are so many things to be thankful for, to celebrate, to enjoy. How can we reconcile these opposing forces? Some are able to find a way of accounting for it through their religion. What of those of us who have no religion, no belief in a omnipotent god? We must wrestle ceaselessly with this thorny snake…


How are we to live?


How are we to live in this world

of mangled steel and tangled wire,

of battered babies and brutal dictators,

of delinquent priests and ruthless terrorists,

of imprisoned speech and crucified prophets,


of melting ice and looming oceans

of toxic rivers and rubbled cities,

of raped children and abused wives,

of children killing children for something to do,

of the starving dying in the stinking street,

of tourists footsore from sweatshop souvenir shopping;


although the blackbird serenades his sweetheart

from the blossoming cherry by the bombed-out buildings;

although the music of the shining sunlight                                                  blackbird-in-cherry-blossom

scatters its indiscriminate blessings;

although peaches hang wanton from the fertile bough;

although there are many wondrous acts of

random and spontaneous human kindness?peaches


How are we to live in this world,

without running down the sparrow

in the dusty road

without weeding out the wild strawberry

from the stony path,

without becoming an addict or a slave

to any cause or idea,

to any programme or leader,                                                         che-guevara-quote

to any icon or idol;

without bearing false witness

to the despised or reviled,

to the mercenary deceiver,

to the arrogant ingrate?


How are we to live in this world

with its clenched fists

with its agonised screams

with its hidden lonely nightmares

with its aching heart?



©  Dave Urwin  2016


About jadedmountain

I am a poet, living a rural life in south-west Wales. The purpose of this blog is to publicise my poetry.
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4 Responses to How are we to live?

  1. How are we to live? We simply survive and suffer with our aching hearts.


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