24 Indulgences – XXIII

There’s this weird condition some people have
Where they despise anyone who’s not the ‘best’ at something,
Even though they themselves aren’t really good at anything.

I played the piano as a kid, and
I found out that, it turns out,
Absolutely everybody is an expert on music,
Even though few people can actually do it.

So I got lots of advice when
I began to play professionally.

Others would ask if I could play
This or that,
Disappointed or even scornful
If I could not.
Or would not.

I see people like that still:
Experts on sports, politics, business —
You name it.
When I do, I remember why
I turned away from music as a profession:

Which was,
Because I loved music more,
Much more,
Than I loved competition or

Pleasing others

24 Indulgences – XX

Divorce: it is a word so full of pain,
He will not say it, nor will speak her name;
To lose so much – it cuts against his grain,
And all he knows to use is spite, and blame —

But, Lord — sometimes within the honest night,
He sees her as he knew her at the first,
And though the image fades with coming light,
It’s always there. A hunger, or a thirst

Reminding him of what he won’t admit:
That though he knows that she is gone for good,
He really doesn’t blame her — not a bit —
For doing what she had to do, and could.

  But when outside, he’ll wear his righteous pride:
  That thing he traded for, with his own bride

24 Indulgences – XVII

I see the world better in illustrations
  than I see with my eyes,
The world is just clearer in pen and ink,
  where, stripped of all disguise,

We can see the beauty, the flaws, and all —
  the whole in every part —
That’s why it’s much harder to learn from life
  than from a work

  of art

24 Indulgences – XVI

In summertime, the children dream
Of books they’ve read and water splashed,
Of superpowers they have used
Against the foes with whom they’ve clashed

And night is frog-and-cricket songs,
With moonlight bright and gleaming —
In summertime, the children dream
Because there’s time

For dreaming