September 5, 2011

Your Life Is Your Life

Charles Bukowski's novel, Ham On Rye, is neatly stacked alongside my other sixteen favorite books, which sit in a sacred place on top of my bookshelf. I was deeply moved by troubled Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's alter ego, and his difficult and lonely Los Angeles upbringing. I went on to read the rest of Bukowski's novels and much of his poetry, and despite his sometimes crude writing and dark outlook on life, something kept bringing me back.

I stumbled onto this beautiful poem through a close friend, who wrote about the poem so eloquently, and it came at just the right time. I keep reading it over and over, finding solace and comfort in these beautiful words.

The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


your life is your life.
know it while you have it.



Hope's Mama said...

I found solace in this poem as well. It is amazing how healing and helpful words can be.
Thanks for sharing this again.

Kate said...

It's a beautiful poem Josh. I read it a couple of weeks ago and meant to note it down, but I forgot about. This has reminded me of it.
Yes, thanks for sharing again.

susan a said...

Yes, the words are true. It can be difficult to assure/promise someone that there will be light after the darkness comes into our life. Yes, look for the light for that is where the real healing takes place. And yes, there will be healing. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Back in the begining I would have scoffed at ever finding light. but now as I approach one year I am more appreciative of the moments that shine through.
Thanks so much for sharing this.. Cullen's first birthday is Sunday and I certainly can relate to this tonight.

Mary Beth said...

I love this poem too--it's a new favorite. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I came across this mother describing her grief and thought of you.

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