Thursday, July 17, 2014

Poetry Friday -- War Some of the Time

Found on the website Indexed

War Some of the Time
by Charles Bukowski

when you write a poem it
needn't be intense
can be nice and
and you shouldn't necessarily
concerned only with things like anger or
love or need;
at any moment the
greatest accomplishment might be to simply
up and tap the handle
on that leaking toilet;
done that twice now while typing
and now the toilet is
solve simple problems: that's
the most
satisfying thing, it
gives you a chance and it
gives everything else a chance

we were made to accomplish the easy
and made to live through the things

Now that Franki got me (and apparently most of the rest of her social network) started with the daily news digest theSkimm, I finally feel like I know a bit about what's going on in the world. Unfortunately, most of what's going on in the world seems to be war, now that the World Cup is over. Depressing. I'm with Bukowski. Wiggling the toilet handle or making the perfectly browned piece of toast -- the little things in life -- are keeping me grounded and positive.

Tabatha has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at The Opposite of Indifference.


  1. Thanks for sharing this poem today, Mary Lee. It's a good counter-balance to news of conflict in the world. Do you know Taha Muhammad Ali's poem "Revenge"? I'm thinking of that one today.

  2. Mary Lee, it is good to know that we can write about the ordinary and not always be concerned with larger or deeper concepts. The small moments in life count. Your poem spoke to me of this with a calmness of thought. I hope your injury has now healed.

  3. I loved this poem! It helps with Teachers Write, too, because sometimes in writing stories, as well as poems, we always have to tackle the big stuff. But that's not true. Sometimes the small stuff is just as universal and important. I somehow missed the recommendation to use theSkimm. I'll need to look into it. Thanks for this post today, Mary Lee!

  4. Anonymous10:44 AM

    I like this one a lot. I don't know who said it, but I always try to remember this wisdom: "Take joy in small things - there are so many of them."

  5. It's a good thought, thinking of the power we have over the little things, too, but wishing we had more to say about the big things. Thanks, Mary Lee, & for the point out to Skimm-didn't know about it!

  6. I've been meaning to check out Skimm more closely... thanks. Thank you for the poem as well. Speaks of that need for some bit of control and order in our own space, in a world where chaos crashes in regularly. Sigh.

  7. Balance.

    With the worries of the world, this is timely. I think so many of us are writing letters, holding people in the light, watching/reading/commenting on the news.

    It is good to snip the dried leaves off plants, take the bags of uneeded lovelies to Goodwill & slice a watermelon.

    Thank you Mary Lee

  8. Yes, sometimes I really like washing a sink full of dirty dishes. In the end they are clean and back in the cabinets and drawers.

  9. It's true. Sometimes just doing simple housework and baking banana nut bread for my sons lifts my mood and helps me get back to what really matters. Thank you for posting this!

  10. Nice diagram you found to go with the poem, Mary Lee. I like Monica's quote in the comments, too.

  11. Just what I needed, Mary Lee. Thanks. I think it's time to take that Bukowski off the shelf and read some more!

  12. Thanks for sharing this. I had to turn the TV off. I was supposed to be in Russia from the 10th-20th of this month, taking a group of teachers and students to space camp. We canceled back in March as the turn of events in Ukraine made us wary of travel. I'm grateful we didn't go.

    I so appreciate the reminder to get lost in the mundane and little things.

    Thanks for sharing your poetry.

  13. This is a poem about hope. If we cannot hang on to the little things, the toilet handle, the soft fur of my cat, or the twitter of the bird outside the window, then all hope is gone.

  14. Hi there Mary Lee. I love what you say about being "grounded" with the ordinary, the mundane, the things most people take for granted. Even the act of tapping the handle of a leaking toilet can be glorious to people who don't have this privilege as they are caught in between conflicts, and their entire world turned over on its head. It's the little things that we should indeed savor.


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