The Beauty In Life

The poet sits quietly gazing
through his kitchen window,
admiring the abundant beauty
in life visible in his back yard –
the blueness of the cloudless sky,
the glory of the bright sunshine,
the greenness of the grass lawn,
the majesty inherent in the trees,
the purple, orange, yellow, red
hues of the springtime flowers…
Ah, there is such beauty in life!

Just then an insect flies into view.
No sooner does it settle upon a flower
than a bird swoops down, captures, eats it.
As the bird is finishing its meal,
the neighbors’ black cat is lying low,
creeping ever closer, closer to the bird,
every muscle tense for the impending kill.
Rusty, his Corgi,
standing front feet upon the window sill,
spots the stalking cat,
runs to the door wanting to be let outside,
assault filling his heart.
Predator and prey,
attack and be attacked…
Ah, there is such brutality in animal life!

Plants are the peaceful, benign
living inhabitants of this world,
thinks the poet.
But then, then he notices
there in the flower bed,
the weeds are crowding out the petunias
by growing faster, higher, stronger.
And by the back fence the pampas grass
is being encircled by a choking vine…
Ah, then all life must be brutal and hard!

Just then the TV news reports today
in Iraq a bomb has killed more soldiers.
The poet pauses, ponders the purpose,
the meaning of the life of Man,
finally concluding the purpose of life
is to survive, to prevail against life’s cruelty,
all the while never allowing
the brutality pervasive in life
to overshadow the beauty in life,
for we live for the beauty…

Harry Edward Gilleland      02.05.04