For the topic of "unfinished business," I decided to repost this poem that I posted in January. Life is unfinished business and sometimes I need to recite this poem to myself to keep my priorities straight. The dichotomy, the contradictions, the polar opposites of life are reflected in this poem which has been a favorite for so many years.
Advice to my Son
by Peter Meinke
The trick is, to live your days
as if each one may be your last
(for they go fast, and young men lose their lives
in strange and unimaginable ways)
but at the same time, plan long range
(for they go slow: if you survive
the shattered windshield and the bursting shell
you will arrive
at our approximation here below
of heaven or hell).
To be specific, between the peony and the rose
plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes;
beauty is nectar
and nectar, in a desert, saves -
but the stomach craves stronger sustenance
than the honied vine.
Therefore, marry a pretty girl
after seeing her mother;
show your soul to one man,
work with another,
and always serve bread with your wine.
always serve wine.
And my own poem...
I will perform the daily chores
and rejoice in the sunflowers.
I will unclench my teeth,
Slip into poetry and release
The anxiety for the living and the dead.
Practice "open the window to the moon,"
but continue "push hands"
and daily penances.
Thanks, January (Poet Mom, not the month as above)for the inspiration. The two quoted phrases are Tai Chi references.