Sunday, February 21, 2016

Love’s Labor Lost? – II

Love’s Labor Lost? – II
How many poets, in how many tongues,
Have written verses, squeezing into lines,
That fit within a page, the wisdom, grief
Regret and joy they'd gathered, each, through lives
That soon would end?  How few are known today?
How many precious notebooks thrown away?
How many theses, labored on for years,
Reside in folders, doomed to dust, decay?
How many painters never sold a piece?
How many Einsteins couldn't get their chance?
How much of labor and of beauty lost?
How much of truth that never saw the day?
And yet—a labor is its own reward:
A poem or a a painting, done, fulfills
A need no praise or payment ever can.
A shelter, in an attic or a ditch,
From all the ravages of peace and war—
Plus time—are all a being asks for this.
A parent or a teacher, nurse or aide
Can spend a life in caring and in toil.
The worker in the mine or factory,
The peasant who must labor for his lord,
For all their work, receive a recompense
That rarely matches what the labor's worth.
What enterprise or government could do
Without the labor that the beings do—
Employed, enslaved or doing of their own
What can't be set to rules or supervised
Without reducing it to lifeless form—
The labor of the dead that's dull and dark.
The spirit that is calling us to work—
Be this to feed ourselves or far beyond—
It functions, in constraints, in spite of these.
But those who seek to tame it never will,
For it's by nature wild.  It lets us give
What can't be got by pay or punishment.
2016 February 21st, Sun. 4:47 am
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York  


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