Avoiding Beautiful September - Poem by Robert Ronnow
The personal is boring
as are my ruminations on the war.
What I need to do I can't try:
wander without shelter in the backcountry.
Or go deeper into the polity,
join a committee or a party.
Minute by minute and season to season
I like my life but what does it add up to, what reason
to go on? No better than a squirrel
or a spider. Spreadsheets, fake books, girls
I want too mildly, modestly or morally to have.
Can the economy and community be called love?
You can be killed and buried in gravel
Your children can be failed at school and marched to war
You can be taxed and sent to gaol for the honor of it
And there's nothing you can do about it.
Will we find the universe not large enough to hold us?
Will planet after planet be too old for us?
If you were president, what would your program be?
What one question is the key
to another's truth. How do you spend your money?
Do you believe in a god who can see
all and understand? Or is he
unable to care, a different species.
We take the long view
that as individuals drop
from sight, new enthusiasts
will associate. Legs
give out, lungs collapse,
but we do not let the circle lapse.
For every Aristotle
there are a million toddlers
who will advance no memorable
theories. But the mist
on trees and mountains,
sunrise over desert, are for
every merchant, traveler.
My sons will take on cares,
which toys are theirs,
as their parents grow
older. Slowness brings us
to our goal: do one thing well.
By that what is meant?
Don't be a dilettante.
Not having found the greatness
of a single, clear description,
definition, the greatness comes in
doing everyday what's known.
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