Lose Something Every Day

 

touchewinter

My white dog just escaped through the fence!

A man you detest has become president,

Or is no longer president.

An excuse, from either lane, you see.

Detestation is dodgy,

like the white dog, slipping through the fence.

Where do all my ideas go?

I see that to lose is either disaster, or impossible.

Or, call it artful.

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

BY ELIZABETH BISHOP

To Err is Humane

yin-yang-spring-and-autumn-gloria-di-simoneIs there an expression of man,
That isn’t allowed within this realm
Of fool and genius, boor or naïf,
the yin-yang movements,  expressions of this fleeting moment?

The full spectrum is the banquet
In which our senses are dazzled,
And where we abide, and sit with kith and kin,
Regardless of propensity or style, drunk on love.

To see thine own error as folly
Is to forgive thy neighbor,
Is to see his divinity as imminent in these eyes,
And thus fences become a quaint contrivance.

Do they not but complement
And make whole, like puzzle pieces,
As every piece must fit, as puzzlers know,
To complete the obscured picture that began as pieces?

Celebrate the dropped ball,
The loose cannon, the missing number
In your equations, and you are free
Of distinctions, and the disability of striving for perfection.

In this freedom, all are set free,
And none are left out when out is in,
When error cannot be found in the lilt of birdsong
Or in humanity’s diverse and magnificent plumage.

The poet is imperfectly perfect, and dies,
In verse and verisimilitude,
But poetry is heard only once,
Never wrong–before it fades, and ceases into silence.