Why do I keep trying to understand
the list of many things that I do
not? I carry around a fifty-
one-year-old weathered scroll
inked with a variety of unknowns.
Some, once understood—now
not. Many new, others ever-
changing. The list
grows. If “life is what happens when you are making
other plans,” why plan?
Why do traits that attract
turn into reasons to leave?
Is life alone settling,
fate, or just giving up
on the game? Why use the word
forever when nothing is?
How can a lifestyle choice threaten
others? How is walking in rain
therapy to some, yet loathed by many?
How do crows know I am
a friend, though I wasn’t always?
How does a special animal change
a person’s life? What do you do
when they go? Why do tough
people sometimes betray the code
and cry? Why do some become monsters
instead of protecting
their children? Can the kindness
of an outsider make enough
difference? Why does the pain remain
when the damage is long
gone? How do butterflies
know to show up when you need
them? If writing can be an antidote
for depression, can it lead
to understanding? Is philosophy
a gift, or an over-thought
burden? Destiny, obligation
calling (words that are larger
than life) can you really
see them coming?
Herman Hesse wrote:
I have been and still am a seeker,
but I have ceased to question
stars and books; I have begun
to listen to the teaching my blood
whispers to me.
Was there an event that opened
his eyes to this
realization or is it the wisdom
of a tired traveler?
When is it okay to let go
of questions and simply embrace?
The surprises never
end. Perhaps it’d be healthier to lean
back: let the bad be curses
and the good, magic.
This poem started with my piece Why from the “Write to Understand” writing workshop taught by friend Matt Love on December 10th 2016 in Astoria, Oregon and evolved over time thanks to the help from another writer friend of mine Tara Hardy .