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Suffering and Life

Updated on July 4, 2011

Born with hands
Grasping spastic
As the network knits
Capturing
For the time
A being

If each cloud a silver lining contains
Each silver lining is by a cloud contained

“Life is suffering,” say the Wise
Via the vague interpreters
Of lost Aramaic
And obscure Middle Indo-Aryan
From their monastic cells
Where they wear
Shirts of hair

The hands touch soft skin and broken glass
The eyes see beauty and road kill
The ears hear music and gunfire
The nose smells roses and sulfur
The mouth tastes honey and vomit
The heart both loves and despairs

If you derive pleasure from a person
Their absence causes pain
The sky could not be as blue
Were it not for rain  
Day not so bright
But for the night
Happiness not as joyful
Deprived the contrast it enjoys
With sorrow
Truth cannot exist
Unless lies persist
One cannot get to the land of perception
Without first passing through
The swamp of misconception

Moments of abject sadness
And pure delight
Opposites juxtaposed
In every moment
Comprise this life

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    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      You explain the Yin Yang of it all poetically.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Randy. And between every particle of it, space.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Irwin 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Yep, couldn't have said it better myself. You put it much more beautifully. I love how you explain contrasts. I always say, you do not know happiness without having known sadness. Put it all into perspective.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

      I think one has a choice about things, but the worst and best are both always present every moment for the chooser. Sometimes its not so easy. But if it was always easy, we wouldn't know it because it would never be difficult.

      Anyway, thanks, Izetti.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Very effective lyrical contrasts yoked together.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Juneaukid!

    • kathryn1000 profile image

      kathryn1000 6 years ago from London

      Very beautiful.

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

      I especially like the contrasting elements that confront each of our senses.

    • kathryn1000 profile image

      kathryn1000 6 years ago from London

      I agree.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

      Thank you. As venerable as I am, it is a challenge for me to remember all five senses. Or was it six?

      Thanks again :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A clever and powerful poem.

      Thank you for sharing this one with us.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Good hub. And i concur with all the other commenters.

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