Another of the Happiness Poems
By Peter Cooley
It’s not that we're not dying.
Everything is dying.
We hear these rumors of the planet’s end
none of us will be around to watch.
It’s not that we're not ugly.
Look at your feet, now that your shoes are off.
You could be a duck,
no, duck-billed platypus,
your feet distraction from your ugly nose.
It’s not that we’re not traveling,
But it's not the broadback Mediterranean
carrying us against the world’s current.
It's the imagined sea, imagined street,
the winged breakers, the waters we confuse with sky
willingly, so someone out there asks
are you flying or swimming?
That someone envies mortal happiness
like everyone on the other side, the dead
who stand in watch, who would give up their bliss,
their low tide eternity rippleless
for one day back here, alive again with us.
They know the sea and sky I'm walking on
or swimming, flying, they know it’s none of these,
this dancing-standing-still, this turning, turning,
these constant transformations of the wind
I can bring down by singing to myself,
the newborn mornings, these continuals --
As you could guess, I spent most of my rainy Rosh Hashanah unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning, sorting and uploading photos, shopping for food, trying to make a dent in back email and social media comments, and attempting to give my cats as much attention as they wanted. Apparently we had another flood in the closet in older son's room while we were gone; the good news is that it hadn't been repaired yet, so there was no new shelf there to get damaged, but the bad news is that the carpet got wet and we're now trying to get it dried out. (Our insurance is arguing quotes to repair the roof, which is taking longer than it should, but if we don't have to pay to fix the roof entirely ourselves, it will be worth it.) We caught up on last week's Elementary before watching this week's, but that was the extent of the excitement. And now I must crash because my brain isn't sure what time zone I'm in! At Monet's garden in Giverny: