by William Stafford
Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.
People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can't
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.
Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People wont even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.
Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.
-- from The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems, by William Stafford
Poetry Chaikhana | William Stafford - Any Morning
I read this poem between fits of coughing and periods of rest.
It is almost my sole accomplishment for the day.
Fortunately it is a short poem which took no time at all to read and comprehend.
Today, i felt better than i have in a month.
The coughing started up again in the afternoon.
But my energy is back.
I could have filled the day with necessary activity
or even unnecessary activity, but i didn't.
Almost any morning in the last month i would have enjoyed this poem.
I especially enjoyed it this morning, that's when i discovered it.
I am happy doing nothing.
Isn;t nothing what silent and empty people are supposed to do?
And if some coughing and exhaustion are requited to reinforce not doing,
it would be silly to not be grateful for those gifts.
So i've had almost a months practice at doing nothing, and
surprise!, nothing was left undone.
(And the fact that too much was done by other people
seems to be part of life, and, thankfully, beyond my control.
Trouble is busy elswhere and i am at peace)
Peace. loving kindness, joy and compassion to all us critters.