We Are Here To Unlearn …

Charles Bukowski

For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.—Charles Bukowski

Private Voices

House Overgrown with Vines

I haven’t written any blog posts incorporating poems since I moved here to WordPress. To remedy that oversight, here is a gentle poem by Denise Levertov entitled “Aware”:

When I opened the door
I found the vine leaves
speaking among themselves in abundant

My presence made them
hush their green breath,
embarrassed, the way
humans stand up, buttoning their jackets,
acting as if they were leaving anyway, as if
the conversation had ended
just before you arrived.

I liked
the glimpse I had, though,
of their obscure
gestures. I liked the sound
of such private voices. Next time
I’ll move like cautious sunlight, open
the door by fractions, eavesdrop

“Aware” by Denise Levertov, from This Great Unknowing. © New Directions Publishing, 1999. Reprinted without permission.

One place I like to check for interesting poems from time to time is Garrison Keillor’s website The Writer’s Almanac. Every day, rain or shine, you can see a poem selected by Keillor and read out loud in his sonorous voice.