26 May 2011

Despite my happiness

by Brad Davis
For good or ill, I am among the fortunate, the happy.
Who can refute it? I live on a five-hundred acre estate
kept by a crew I neither have to pay nor oversee.
I have never, involuntarily, gone hungry
or had to pawn rags to shelter my family. Never
have I been pushed to the point of longing
to bathe my feet in the blood of the wicked, who
by force impose their bent will upon the world.
What I think I know is that everything happens all at once -
privation, birthing stars, regime changes -
and some of it is not good, and how much is not good
is relative to the calculator’s point of view.
Certainly what appears to be true is how
what is not good never fails to inspire dangerous humor,
sweet dreams among co-conspirators, bitter lyrics
in absolutely beautiful songs – the kind of songs I like best -
songs deeply felt and aimed at making sensible
to a numbed, happy public – folk like me – the urgencies
of the discontented. And it is true, or I am
sufficiently educated to know how to say it, that
despite my happiness, I, too, cannot wait for the day
when earth steps free of her long bondage to decay
and I find myself, as though I were just
waking up, in a new body equipped with stable knees,
an unencumbered will, and desire like wisdom from above.

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