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We’re still alive, part 6. A poem for the New Year

December 30, 2020

Arnold Jansen op de Haar celebrates 2021 with a new poem: ‘Now Fill the Glasses’


don’t try to bring order to the mind-blowing chaos
don’t request others to be more consistent than you
defend agnostics    atheists    roman catholics
jews    protestants    muslims    buddhists
hindus    butchers    vegans
tricksters    teetotallers    smokers
your dog and your neighbours
your husband or wife
your ex    alcoholics
isolate extremists
don’t resist kindness
offer her tongue and cheek
don’t qualify love    squander your desires
make a string of beads out of women’s eyes
don’t think of pots and cans stuck to a car
the missed-out rice    wedding bouquet and high altar
what’s dispersed can’t be caught
put your restless mind into a bottle
don’t aim for happiness    accept the breath of misery
forget your concerns and don’t ask for help from the dead
but never forget their voice
don’t say    I’m never jealous    because you are
from lack of talent    too much ambition
or a bit of both
seek out friends who stay a lifetime
disagree with you    and don’t compromise
like dogs mouthing each other in affection
don’t advertise your altruism
be your own benefactor and prove that santa claus exists
question your father    your mother and answer the child
manage your concern about the future    the past
oh present    only to be understood when it’s here
beauty withers but elegance keeps growing
doubt mostly yourself    even the motive
to put this to paper    travel up a mountain
write questions on a stone tablet
please no commandments
descend unwitnessed and don’t be afraid
embrace humankind as if there’s no virus
now fill the glasses    these are your days

© Arnold Jansen op de Haar