Six Poems By Otho Campbell
Presented by Carl Kruse
“No good deed goes unpunished,”
is just one of Murphy’s laws.
The golden rule: A fantasy,
like elves and Santa Claus.
People take advantage of
the kindness you commit.
Jean Valjean would just buy drugs,
with the bishop’s candle sticks.
The road to hell, as we all know,
is paved with good intentions.
But who is it that takes this road?
That’s never really mentioned.
It’s sometimes true, that those you’d help,
refuse the help you give.
But does it follow then that you
have lessened how YOU live?
What the net effect will be
of any act of kindness is,
for you, just secondary.
Giving only plants a seed,
and sometimes seeds don’t grow.
Or they might flower, to the hundreth power;
Only time will show.
But NOW’s the only time you need,
to feel the Love from giving.
And Love’s the only thing that makes,
life truly worth the living.
“How can I be happy and
contented, like you are?”
I heard a young man ask
in their booth beside the bar.
He said he loved her dearly,
but she was his ONLY treasure;
That nothing else on God’s green earth,
now gave him any pleasure.
“There’s your answer,” she replied,
“It all comes down to you.
If you can’t enjoy the world
there’s not much I can do.”
“Thanks a lot,” he said, in jest.
“That’s all I need to hear.
Better just to end it all.
At least now that is clear.”
“Loving makes you happy.
It never fails for me.
You love; you’re glad. You hate; you’re sad.
That’s plain enough to see.”
“So just ignore the evil?
The injustice? All the strife?
Ignorance is bliss I guess.
Is that the key to life?”
“Darkness is just lack of light.
Didn’t you go to school?
physics, optics, shows you that;
So does the golden rule.
“You think that we should hate the blind?
Does that seem right to you?
If YOU could see, you’d see that they,
are just the same as you.
“Look my boy, just use your head.
It’s simple as can be.
If we can find something to love
in everything we see,
“then all the world will make us smile,
and conversely it’s true;
when we hate, it always makes,
us feel the way you do.”
Not the most maternal speech,
I really have to say.
But Junior seemed to smile a bit
as they walked away.
Everything that was and is,
is part of the divine;
animated or inert,
with or without a mind.
We things with minds will tend to think,
and think we’re at the top,
of food chain and biology,
the cream of nature’s crop.
These thoughts create self focus,
which makes the truth unclear.
Immortal bliss is what we are;
The self: Just a veneer.
We all must have an enemy;
someone to fight and hate.
It’s in our natures, so it seems;
Every tribe in history,
has made war on its neighbors.
Every family has its feuds;
plough shares turned to sabers.
Once I even saw a drunk,
self righteously attacking,
his wheelchair bound companion whose,
respect he felt was lacking.
It dawned on me that he and we
are different not in kind,
just in degree, since neither see
the real threat, in the mind.
I mean, of course, the cause; the source,
of all our hate and fear;
the vile self conscious inner voice,
that whispers in the ear;
the only enemy we have,
our very own ego.
All would be others, are just brothers,
who share the same self foe.
“You know why they’re so happy?”
I heard an old man say,
watching puppies in the park,
as they ran and played.
” ’cause unlike us, they’re unaware,
that they’re going to die.
Ignorance is truly bliss,
and that’s the reason why.”
Wow! I thought. I guess he’s not,
too happily encumbered,
with the burden of the truth:
That his own days are numbered.
But is it true, as he wants to,
believe, that everyone,
is saddened by the knowledge that,
the end will one day come?
Is death the thing that ruins it all,
as he seems to say?
Does knowing that we’re going to die,
mean nothing’s quite okay?
I can’t agree. In fact for me,
there is a certain way,
that death can make my life improve,
when thought about each day.
To find awareness past this dream’s
the goal of meditation;
achieved with ease
when death’s the focus
of your contemplation.
To circumvent distractions,
and endless appetites;
To know there’s more, beyond the door,
right there, though out of sight.
Death becomes the bogeyman
when we just see what’s lost;
blind to what we get in trade,
focused on the cost.
So think about your death today,
not skeletal remains,
but love and truth, the living proof,
Of all you have to gain.
I’ve never been a joiner,
but a club I chanced to find,
made such a strong impression
that I had to change my mind.
It’s not at all exclusive.
They’re laid back and low key.
But joining’s still not easy,
and it sure as hell ain’t free.
They say it costs all that you own,
though they don’t seem to want it.
In fact you can just keep it all,
as long as you don’t flaunt it.
They want your attention
and there’s no way you’ll have time,
if cars and boats and toys and such,
are always on your mind.
Sounds strange, I know, but it’s their show,
I’m just a would be member.
But I’ll say this: Their taste of bliss
you always will remember;
Joy and peace that never cease;
Rapture without end;
And that’s just in the waiting room
I haven’t gotten in.
I thought I might have earned my way,
when I detached from stuff.
but there’s much more(or less) to do,
that wasn’t near enough.
You can’t think too much of yourself,
not just too much of things.
or you can’t reach this commonwealth
of truly higher beings.
Quite a paradox, I know
to make the highest state,
just for those who truly feel,
unworthy of their fate.
And one last task, that does surpass,
all others in their view:
You know those people you despise,
who really get to you?
“Be nice to them?” That’s what I thought.
That wouldn’t be too hard.
But that won’t do, they want you to,
LOVE them, with ALL YOUR HEART.
Contact: carl AT carlkruse DOT org
• For other poems on this blog: Poetry on Carl Kruse Blog
• Other poems by Otho Campbell: http://www.carlkruse.com/poetry-from-otho-campbell/
The blog’s last post was about Giving Tuesday.