Alison, Eudaimonia, Love, Poetry, Quality of Life, Self-Flourishing, Well Being

A Fool and His Cottage

I sit on my patio,
Watch the man tug the leash,
The dog tug the man,

Both of them passing by
Faster than birdsong
Can shove a cloud
Across the sky.

A storm is moving in,
And there is a difference
I don’t yet quite get
Between truths and facts.

Not the obvious difference, either.

I didn’t want to write this poem.

I could reach out to the cat
Crouching in the flowerbed mulch
When people ask whether I’m happy
And bid her answer for me.

They might as well speak to me
In Greek when they ask me that.

I might as well speak to them in cat.

I just like the grey-bellied clouds,
The neighbors out walking their dogs,
And the differences between truths and facts.

I didn’t want to write this poem.

There was once a woman I left long ago
Who danced summer nights in my head,
Danced with the calling cicada,
And whose grey-blue eyes could distill
A thousand years of wisdom
Into a passing glance.

Her name was Alison,
And she rose in beauty
Above my youthful anger,
And above my youthful pride.

She rose in beauty
Like a mist struck by moonlight
Rises above a swamp.

She saw right through me.
She saw beneath my youthful masks.
She saw, and she loved me.

Boy met girl, girl met boy.
Our loves touched
And we parted company.

Thirty years after I left her I met her again.
She was a Buddha by then.

I didn’t want to write this poem
And now it has come to this,
Come to a fool and his cottage,

And to the skunks and squirrels
Who like me, live close to the rising winds,
And cleave to the blue sunlight
That falls through storm clouds.

If I were a Buddha
I would be Janus and speak half-truths
That would be made whole truths
By my two faces.

Yet I am no Buddha.
I have a promiscuous heart:
Only one of my loves is Nirvana,
And the rest are the world.

So I sit, a fool and his cottage,
I don’t care to know if I’m happy.

I have my loves, they are enough.

I didn’t want to write this poem.
This poem wanted to write me.

43 thoughts on “A Fool and His Cottage”

  1. This is such a profound poem, Paul. I read this and see a man reflecting on his life, pondering the things around him about life, yet that line that repeats throughout the poem: “I didn’t want to write this poem.” Sometimes we are pulled to think about things, do and say things, not really understanding why. I’d like to think it’s our soul’s way of making us speak our truth and acknowledge the things going on within that we don’t really want to notice sometimes. I really love this and how there is an acceptance you seem to have in each line.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reblogged this on The Poets Peace and commented:

    Hello there, friends. I’m Reblogging a poem I discovered on Paul’s blog. Even though I didn’t want to write🙈😅 this because I feel as though I’d be unable to paint a pretty picture of this poems poignancy. I’d rather it speak for itself.
    All I can say is that it was a joy to read and that you’re missing out on some mind-watering food for thought if you haven’t read it yet


  3. Hi Paul. Lazarus here. I hope you don’t mind that I reblogged this poem. It’s just that I really respect the creativity behind the poem. I feel like reading it has expanded my mind and so I’m grateful to you for writing and sharing it with us.


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