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 .


2 thoughts on “THOUGH I WASN’T ALWAYS

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