The Way Of It

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The Way Of It

How do we know
what’s meaningful in our lives, what higher purpose
we may serve?

We think it has to do with work, family, something
hard-hoed,

but maybe we were brought here simply
to walk that dog
whose incisored smile and skipping trot
seemed to lift the souls of passers-by
caught in the grey cracks
of New York City.

Maybe it was to elicit that once-satisfied goodnight
from the woman you call regularly
who has to bustle about for her hearing aids
just to register your hello.

Maybe it was your wrist flicking on
the car radio a jammed
afternoon and squeezing among
the blistered fenders a waft
of ‘over the rainbow,‘

or the sight of the leftover moon
a blue morning,

or your slow recognition
that those ochre fronds of weed
were not in fact a doe
in yesterday’s dusk, though just
as beautiful–

Maybe it has all amounted
to a single–one-time–confirmation of
the universality of
a universe

that we must love we must love we must love–

You tell yourself–I tell
myself at least (if I can summon up
the will when I am low)–that any light I’ve lit
is too close at hand
for me to see,
that I must, at last, trust
in the kindness of moths,
the hunger
of moths, the compulsion
of moths,
though their wings be as dry
as leaves in a rusting fall,
though that fall is nearly
run through–
that still they will find
my bit of flame,
and though I feel rather sorry
for those moths (even if a part of me longs
for the momentarily brightened flare),
maybe moths too
serve strange purposes.

**********************************
Here’s a rather odd poem for With Real Toads, Play It Again Sam, hosted by Margaret Bednar.  In this case, I am using the actual prompt of Kenia Cris, to write something inspired by the philosophical poetry of Brazilian Poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade.  Margaret posts some beautiful pics from her daughter’s school, but I chose to you my own photograph above.

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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15 Comments on “The Way Of It”


  1. For me the philosophical question of the purpose is so skillfully explored here.. I get the feeling that asking the question just proves how impossible it is to answer… the moth might have a lot more purpose in reality. I think this might be one of your best..

  2. Brendan Says:

    This is just wonder-ful, Karin, a miracle, if philosophy could afford such a generous thought. Love really is that dog, the moon in blue, isloveisloveislove. Because without it what is the point of philosophy?

  3. Mama Zen Says:

    This is really beautiful, K. Deeply beautiful.


  4. So beautiful…yes we must love we must love we must love


  5. So many dream large – inspire to do great things. That isn’t wrong, but how equally important are the little, small things that go unnoticed by but one person… That is just as important. Lovely poem.

  6. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Very thought-provoking, Karin. Maybe we do get all tied up wondering about our higher purpose without realizing that we serve our purpose in every day ways.

  7. Steve King Says:

    This is such an intelligent piece. My take away from it is that our individual meaning is revealed by our interactions with the world around us, either through the impressions that are somehow formed in our consciousness, or through our moment by moment behavior with what is around us. Even so, you suggest that we need something to tie it all together, and you suggest the fact of love. A great higher power indeed, wherever it may come from. Very well done.
    SK

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Steve. (I accidentally “liked” and then “unliked” your comment, and of course, I like your comment, but am not so keen about this idea of somehow grading comments, which is why I pressed the unlike button.)

      I’ve been experience a real low in terms of faith in my work lately, or ability to work, or worthwhileness of making time for work, etc etc.–not to sound like I am seeking nice comments!–but it’s not been the best time on that front–I think of your poem about settling into emptiness, but I can’t settle as it were, any more than I think your narrator can–but it does make it especially hard for me to judge anything. So thanks. k.


  8. I love the depth of the topic you pursue here and this is the part that is so striking to me,

    “but maybe we were brought here simply
    to walk that dog
    whose incisored smile and skipping trot
    seemed to lift the souls of passers-by
    caught in the grey cracks
    of New York City.”

    Lovely and deep work, K!

  9. Helen Says:

    There is much to embrace here, Karin.

  10. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Really enjoyed a lot about this poem — the philosophical wondering and great phrases. Well crafted.

  11. grapeling Says:

    echo – beautiful, evocative, and lasting ~


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