this imperfect life

Having written this poem a few months ago, I now find myself wondering if it gets anywhere near communicating what I was trying to say. Did I even know what I was trying to say? Sometimes an idea is floating around somewhere in the space of the head, but trying to properly grasp it and then elucidate it in words seems near impossible.

How do we or should we deal with the ‘mess’ that is life, especially if one does not believe in the simple notions that religious doctrines offer, for example that all ‘good’ people will go to ‘heaven’ and the ‘bad’ to ‘hell’, or that a god will ultimately intervene in the mess and absolute ‘good’ will reign. I tend towards the Taoist view that all is relative, that there cannot be good without bad, and vice versa. And yet – how are we to deal with, in our heads, this negative stuff that is all around us? Is it ever possible to simply ‘accept’ it?

The American poet, Carl Sandburg, said that ‘Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.’  Someone else said that ‘a poem is never finished, only abandoned.’ Hmmm.

 

What else would you do with this imperfect life

but push the spade deep

into the sacred earth

to lift the glorious fruit,

having laboured

through the spinning cycle of seasons,

having lowered

your head into the driven hail?

 

but be mindful of each moment

after moment after moment,

knowing the impossibility of it,

and pretend thathomeless-person-asleep-in-doorway-in-mayfair-london-england-uk-bfmak9

all shall be well,

as you pass the sleepless girl

on a cardboard sheet

in a Swansea doorway,

the beggar on the streets

of Mumbai, Paris, Buenos Aires,street beggar

hear of another hopeful refugee

drowning homeless in the Mediterranean Sea?

 

but in those rare moments of clarity

remain grateful for the buzzard’s slow circles

on the rising thermals,

the first appearance of the primrose in spring;

attempt to breathe out the insistent grief,

sweat through the work of days,

getting mind and hands dirty?

 

© David Urwin 2017

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About jadedmountain

I am a poet, living a rural life in south-west Wales. The purpose of this blog is to publicise my poetry.
This entry was posted in homelessness, modern society, poetry, poverty, religion, religious thought. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to this imperfect life

  1. John A'Hern says:

    I like the poem and its descriptions of life in our own backyard as well as other Countries we visit. The comment about Someone else saying that ‘a poem is never finished, only abandoned.’ Hmmm. Food for thought that may give one a headache trying to make sense of it. Someone else, whomever they may be I believe is saying that a Poet revisits a poem and makes changes, does it make the poem any better than the first efforts? As far as abandoned is concerned, how many poets listen to poems and remember the words days later.

    Like

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