Sunday, August 30, 2015

Slowing Can’t Be Right

Slowing Can’t Be Right 

How much of all our suffering is due
To speeding when we should be going slow?
We work and eat and couple now at speed
And rarely notice all the harm we do.

So some can thrive, with sense and conscience stilled,
While others suffer from their actions or
Perceive the things that go unheeded while
We're busy rushing through our hectic lives.

We live our lives of loneliness and fear
And seek our consolations where we can.
The sun may rise, the little birds may sing
And yet we sleep or go to work in dread.

We live in isolation, torn apart
By all the tempests blowing through our lives:
The storms of Nature and the works of Man—
What others do and what we do ourselves.

We’ve lost the arts of tolerance and fun.
We turn away from relatives and friends
And seek our entertainment and our worth
In things and places distant from our earths.

We learn to race, forgetting how to slow.
We spend our lives acquiring knowledge, things—
While losing wisdom and that freedom true
Of living like the ones still human do.

You’ll find them in the forests and the hills,
In regions far removed, on arctic ice
And in the places of the scorching sun,
Beleaguered now as they are pushed to die.

They do as belly and as conscience bids.
They live and die in goodly company.
They have no money. Their possessions, they
Can carry on their backs as lightest weight.

They pay no rent to landlords or to banks.
They answer to no bosses, being free.
There is, among them, neither “high” nor “low”.
They’re born, they smile and weep, and then they go.

And some might say that I romanticize
The lives of those that dwell in poverty.
But I reply, “What wealth could ever buy
The gems of love and of sincerity?”

And others still might say, “We disagree.
We would not trade our lives for such as these.
Besides, there isn’t room, upon this Earth,
To live as once we did, in misery.”

So each may view the grass that’s distant as
Of greener hue or less than that beneath.
And we might say, “The world is changing, so
We cannot now remain as once we were.”
But should we then surrender to the flow
That takes us where some others want us to?
Or should we say, “We still are beings free,
Who choose our lives to be as they could be?”


The one that halts, when all around stampede,
Might well be trampled on—and even die.
But when the wiser start to slow and turn,
We slowly could return to clarity.

The question is, “Will sanity prevail
Before our madness breeds catastrophe?
And some might say, “We’re told that’s happened, yet
We do not slow, for slowing can’t be right.”

2015 August 30th, Sun., 3:28 pm
(first two stanzas added Sep. 2nd, Wed.)
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

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