poem: joie de vivre



joie de vivre



I met a healthy girl today – her name

Was Joy, a fit and strong and happy girl

Of sixty-eight.  In fact her name was Ann,

In life her name was Joy.  You’ll live a long

And healthy life I thought; I wondered why,

And then reflected:  Ann is always full

Of fun.  We talked about it; she revealed

Much time among her plants and trees, her flowers

And animals.  It made me think of kids

In darkened rooms at screens for way too much

Of life at times of growth and change, all sorts

Of change.  At other end of life it seems

To me that most my ancient folk, at least

The fit and well, are happy types.  Of course

They’re iterative, are health and happiness,

Though not always entwined, for health we know’s

A complex balance – many factors; joy’s

The spark, perhaps.  And yet it’s simple too –

Be healthy, be……you know the cliché well.

Some say the aim of life is happiness;

That’s not so silly.  Joy of course brings life

To years; you truly feel it in your breast.



Complexity of health reflects how life

Itself has lots of branches like a tree,

And yet like trees our life is simple too

And beautiful; they make the air we breathe.

My grandpa spoke of being nearer God

Among his plants – makes sense if God is bliss,

And working in the garden makes you feel

That way.  Elisabeth Murdoch, I met

Her once, grand dame and happy soul; she had

A wondrous garden.  Well she might be glad

You say, but many wealthy folk I’ve known

Who seemed quite sad.  Remember needle’s eye

And what is heaven after all if not

Nirvana, endless bliss.  Dame Lis she lived

Beyond one hundred, richer all were we

For that.  Some people work themselves to death,

I’ve known some high achievers die too young.

To be of single mind may not be safe,

May lack a certain balance linked with joy,

So on and on to goals anew may risk

Another kind of hell.  The good can see

An early grave it’s said, so goodness may

In fact be separate from bliss.  To be

Obese is not so dreadful, rich and fat

And sad suggests pursuit of too much dosh

Instead of time among life’s rich array.



Depression’s linked to lots of other ills

So lack of joy’s quite dangerous.  We know

A broken heart can lead to end of life

With fearsome speed; a dreadful loss, a wife

Or husband gone can signal end of love

Too hard to bear.  And slowing down’s not bad

For you, slow food, slow love, more time to sniff

The roses- modern life’s too fast, it seems.

Thus meditation helps the stressed and those

Who’ve lost their way.  My sister Kim’s a case

In point, so sick with diabetes, so

Severe, she could have died in any stay

In ICU; but Kim’s a joyful soul,

Makes light of major disability.

I think it keeps her going past the life

Of damaged arteries – she shows once more the truth

We’ve learned before, that laughter really

Helps the pills and potions strong.  This lights the way

To getting over life’s travails, its sad

And crushing tragedies.  We don’t give up,

We stagger through the crisis; later seek

To realign our lives to finding joy

Once more, to join again the river’s flow.



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