Thursday, January 01, 2009



It is not easy to be reborn as a human being. It is rarer than for a one-eyed turtle, who rises to the surface only once every hundred years, to push his neck through a wooden yoke with one hole that floats on the surface of the wide ocean.

Buddha Shakyamuni


Happy New Year!

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PS: I just received this lovely poem by Sheenagh Pugh, by way of an email from my friend Claudia Mauro. It seems perfect for the moment we are living in (though it appears the poet has disowned this poem, for various reasons?):

Sometimes

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you.

© Sheenagh Pugh

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3 comments:

~ said...

Hi Peter,

Happy New Year to you and Dean!

The notes about this poem are almost more interesting than the poem. And I loved the title of that webpage "the dreaded sometimes," but honestly, I can understand how the poet feels. It seems as if this poem was chosen to represent him and he didn't feel he wanted it too.

Sort of like being a child star or on a cult-tv show, you're known as "The Beaver" for all your life, it's hard to play the part of anyone else.

Peter said...

K:
I agree, it's an interesting back-story. ANd fascinating that she wrote this poem in the 80's. It seems perfectly fit for this year's election of Barack Obama.

PS: I think Sheenagh's a she.

Brian Campbell said...

Lovely poem nevertheless. Thanks for sharing it, Peter. Peculiar that the poet disowns it. No poem can express more than a fraction of ourselves, and there's nothing here that wouldn't jive with a poet being tougher. Happy New Year.