Sometimes, I think that I have borne a lot
of resentment, and fought against the world
believing to lead with your fist uncurled
meant weakness, and what you deserved, you got.
I lived as if my troubles were the most
important thing in the whole universe;
and those who hurt me, from me got it worse.
I thought of myself as a hungry ghost,
feeding on others misfortune and pain,
using their foibles as inspiration
for forming great theories, the creation
of a clever ruse to hide my disdain.
And karma? What was that to do with me?
My actions, like a pebble in the pond
sent waves echoing outward, far beyond
my line of sight. In my sad vanity
I imagined that being the center, source
from which this negativity bounded,
it was the ugly world that surrounded
the force for good that was myself. Of course,
I was wrong about some things, and yet right
about a few others. Like what you get
being what you deserve; if you forget
that one, your world view becomes wrapped so tight
a light, little touch can send you spinning
into a void of angry self-pity
where your soul’s balance and integrity
are lost in cruel games, and no one’s winning.
Sometimes, I think that I have borne a lot;
but then, I look at where my life is now,
looking back on the bitter weeds I plow
under, those tares I sowed in my own plot.
I realize my misspent days of youth
were but a preamble to my real life,
and that by reaping then that field of strife
I have prepared the soil to grow some truth.
28 JUL 2003