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Paul Hartal


Pessimism


The pristine ambience was invigorating
and he took a deep breath in the fresh air.

The snow-capped mountains soaring
in the distance over dense pine forests
induced a sense of peaceful rest, an alpine
euphoria of the majestic panorama.

'The world is so beautiful', he said.

'How can it be so beautiful? ' she objected.
'It is filled with suffering and bad karma
from Calcutta and Bogota to Parma.'

'Oh, come on', he said.
'Enjoy the view. Life is precious
and wonderful. It can be glorious,
filled with pleasure, love and fine wine,
joy and happiness and sunshine.'

'Scarcely', she said.
'Look at the news', she added,
'It offers mostly dark stories of Job,
crime, violence and wars. And remember,
children are dying of hunger
at this very moment in many places
around the globe.'

'Oh, please. Aren't you exaggerating?
Coloring, stretching and overstating?
You see the world too dreary,
depressing, gloomy and murky.'

'Not at all', she said.
'God created the world melancholy,
adverse, ill-disposed and sad.
In its essence nature is hostile:
Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados;
disasters are galore in every turn and tile.
And by means of our right to birth
diseases frequently visit and strike
humankind on earth.'

'Well, we need some balance
in our views here, don't we? ', he said.
'Let's move an ounce, lower the valance.
But, mind you, the whole thing is odd,
entailing the question: Rise, or kiss the rod?
And even if I had entirely agreed with you,
which I do not, what should I do?
Forget? Vote differently? Or fire God? '

Submitted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Edited: Monday, February 04, 2013

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  • Rookie Keighley Hastings (2/4/2013 4:35:00 PM)

    A very beautiful poem, certainly capturing the choice of whether to see life optimistically, Nice work Paul Hartal. (Report) Reply

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