Tag Archives: Happiness

Do Unto Others

There are two invisible powers

And both go by the name of “Love.”

Both share earthly symbols

Like a flower or a dove,

Both can feel spectacular

And to lose them feels rotten,

But only one is cherished

While the other is forgotten.

The first love, which we celebrate

Comes in many ways and rates,

Whether flourishing in one glance

Or through countless many dates.

It’s an all-consuming passion

That no drug can replicate,

Designed by God or nature

To ensure two people mate.

I prefer the second love,

Which many haven’t known,

Which can’t be felt by starry eyes

Or fire in the bone.

This love is not a feeling

But an action that we take

Not to gratify ourselves

But for another’s sake.

This second love is not reserved

For those with lovely faces.

Instead it’s most important for

Those found in darkened places,

And yet with equal vigor

To your wife and to your foe

You manifest the second love

And to both parties show.

You needn’t feel amorous

To help a stranger carry

A heavy bag, nor should you feel

Obliged to them to marry.

And yet the baffling part about

This second love these days

In when you show a person this

They’ll spurn it seven ways;

“Shee’s clingy,” or “He’s needy,”

Or “He’s trying way too hard,”

Or “He’s creepy,” or “She’s lying,

“So I must be on my guard.”

In most cases the rebuke

Is one of self-defense,

For many who show kindness

Are expecting recompense.

So when one shares the second love

For nothing but the good

It seems what was well-meaning

Is oft misunderstood.

I hope if you’re a giver

Of this secret second love,

The love for human brothers

Unconnected by their blood,

That you do not forget the gift

Or cease to feel or give,

For you’re an ever-scarcer breed

Who knows how best to live.

And if you may receive the gift

I formerly did mention

That you may understand it

As a love with good intention.

And if you’ve never thought of love

As something more than lust

I hope you read these verses

With an open mind, and trust

That if you try to love someone

For their sake, not your own,

That you will feel a universe

In which you’re less alone.

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Being An “Us” With No “Them”

When was the last time a stranger

Whispered something in your ear,

Whether something that was naughty

Or perhaps a secret fear,

Saying something so important

That they risked becoming near

To share with you a datum

Only you were fit to hear?

If you’ve never given quiet

I think you ought to try it.

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Just About Life

Just about everyone has asked “What’s the meaning of life.”

Just about everyone has learned the answer.

What got lost was that they weren’t asking the right question

And the right question is:

“Have I ever been unhappy?”

If you say “no,” then you apparently know the meaning of life already

But just about everyone says “Yes, I’ve been unhappy.”

And the right question continues:

“Have I ever been happy?”

And if you say “no” then you need to keep reading

But just about everyone says “Yes, I’ve been happy.”

And the right question continues:

“So what happened that made you change

“From being unhappy to being happy?”

There are many answers to this question

And just about all the answers are correct:

When you were born and became distinct from mother, you were unhappy

And when mother held you you were happy

And so the meaning of life is to be held and loved.

When you were scared and confused and lost, you were unhappy

And when you got comfort, knowledge, direction you were happy

And these too are the meaning of life.

When you were sad, you laughed.

When you were alone, you fell in love.

When you were hungry you ate.

When you were tired you slept.

When you couldn’t go on, you kept going.

Every single time you’ve been unhappy you did something joyful.

Every time you were hopeless you hoped one more time

And when you couldn’t, the universe gave you hope from outside yourself.

The meaning of life is about becoming happy

And if you’re happy you can’t become happy.

Life is the opposite of unhappiness

And so happiness is life.

If you are unhappy, you are alive,

If you are happy, you are living,

And when you make your final choice in this life, choose to be happy again

Because just about everyone can.

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How Much Would You Cry If You Had 17 Eyes?

There are ten-quintillion insects

In the world, we estimate

Who deal daily with the fact

They’re objects of our hate.

They’ve never read a poem

And they’ve never seen a play

And we just go and murder them

As they go about their day.

Lots of people say things:

“Love your neighbor,” “Peace not war,”

But they don’t even bat an eye

When vacuuming their floor.

I think when we begin to care

For the welfare of bugs

Humanity will finally see

The real value of hugs.

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Everyman

Somewhere near you is a man

Who has a loaded gun

And a heart full of unspoken pain.

He cannot see the sun,

Nor can he hear the laughter

Of the squirrels and birds and trees.

He walks upright, but out of sight

He’s fallen to his knees.

Somewhere there’s another man –

It might even be you –

Who gives the first a little nod

That says “I feel it too.”

And sometimes just a nod like that

Is all you need to say

To help a wounded warrior

Put the loaded gun away.

You don’t need superpowers

Or a cape to save the day.

Smiling is enough sometimes

To make the world okay.

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Flowers for Algernon

Someday in the future

Somebody will share

A painting so perfect

Nothing else can compare,

And most everybody

Will say “Ooh” and “Ahh”

Except for the few

Who insist there’s a flaw.

All other artwork

Before it and after

Won’t evoke the same awe

Or inspire such laughter,

Won’t bring to the eyes

The same sweetness of tears

And from then to the end

There will be the dark years

Where no art seems special

Like the ultimate piece,

So exhibits will dry up

And artists will cease.

New adventures will stagnate

When our needs are all met

So let’s just be happy

That we’re not perfect yet.

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Ordinary Life

The hours we spent painting gnome houses

And the hours we spent playing games

And the meals and walking

And laughing and talking

And whispering each others’ names,

The hour we spent after bedtime

Just wrapped in each other, in love,

And the sweet half an hour

That I was your tower

And your lips glowed from starlight above,

A greeting, a morning, a breakfast, adventure,

The downtime, the party, the kiss:

I cannot be lonely when you are my only;

No time was spent better than this.

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Brown, Sticky, and Fun

I remember a game

I played when I was childish

Where up I’d pick a fancy stick

And proceed to go quite wildish.

It would be, at the same time,

A lightsaber, a gun,

A steering wheel, banana peel,

A ticket: Admit One.

I could walk around the woods

With some tree’s lifeless limb

And make of a day of naught but play,

Walking and swinging him.

Now I’m big and childish

But have less inclination

To go outside and take a ride

On my imagination.

Today I pray to everything

That before I’m old and sick

I’ll meet just five folks more alive

Than my beloved stick.

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But It Won’t… So There

Tonight I watched a movie

That made me cry

About an awkward redhead

Who can travel through time.

He learned that living every day

As if it is your last

Is the key to perfect happiness,

Not reliving the past.

Unlike awkward redhead dude

I can’t control the ages,

Can’t redo my past mistakes

Or rewrite history’s pages.

What I can do that others can’t

Is make the time you spend

Be used to wish my poetry

Would finally freakin’ end.

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Water Parks

Somebody decided

To take a piece of land

And implement a strategy

A capitalist planned

Wherein they’d charge some strangers

A fee for a ticket

To try a lot of fancy ways

To get all cold and wet.

They’d make a lot of slidey things

And fountains you can climb

And lazy lilting rivers

Where you can waste your time

And pools that make big waves

Like the ocean, but controlled.

I don’t know whose idea it was

But I know that I’m sold!

This poem is dedicated to Steven,

The lifeguard at Boulder Beach

Who saved this poet’s glasses

Which had fallen past his reach.

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