Random Poetry

Joseph Campbell believes that instead of searching for the meaning of life, people are really after the feeling of being alive. That is why I write — to try to capture important times when I have felt really alive.


I must have lived here
in this hamlet of Czech countryside
and mustardy grass plots,
for the last hundred years
are still here
in cobblestone and whitewash
stick fences and red tile roofs
and yet I am comfortable
with its look and its lack
of anything substantial
by American standards.

From the blue dark pub
converted from a school
I can just make out
a distant stubble-faced man
leading a lumbering, clomping cow
down the narrow, dust-crusted road
and a kerchiefed woman to my left
with a small yellow-haired girl
sound out slippery words from the menu
on a blackboard.

Seizing the divine gift
of displacement and freedom
I swallow my thick black beer
and dart out the door
into air too cool
for my idea of August
past brave chickens and the phone box
where I accepted welcome offerings
from curious eyes and friendly hands,
wonderously patting my hair and clothes.

Stepping into an expanse of green
and rows and rows and rows
of tomatoes and carrots and peas
swathed by bright blue and white light
without that night-time false feeling
of reaching out and stroking stars
I throw up my arms to remind
myself of the openness
and wiggle my fingers over my head
rejoicing in this glimpsing of infinity
I still have trouble cupping in my mind.

Published 1999


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