Here’s a poem I wrote recently and shared at the poetry benefit that we (SF Insight) held for the Khuphuka Project on 10/14/11.
I always liked that quote of the Buddha’s (or was it someone else?) which talked about how people with lots of opinions go around the world annoying people. I am one of those people who gets annoyed. I am also one of those people with opinions.
Though I like my own opinions quite a lot, most of them are more like a boyfriend I’ve recently started dating. I might like him quite a bit, but if someone else points out too many of his shortcomings, I might easily give him up. Or if someone offers up a more attractive “boyfriend” (opinion), I might go for him instead. (ok, don’t start questioning me about how fickle I am). What I mean to say is that though I am attracted to my opinions, most of the time I don’t feel “wedded” to them. Still I’m aware that my opinions just might on occasion cause others to feel annoyed.
The topic of right speech( in general) and opinions (in specific) is such a juicy one because most of us have had so much painful experience with “wrong speech” (our own and others’) that there’s a lot of motivation to be free of this suffering. Still, the patterns of speaking are deeply embedded, so it’s not an easy change to make. For most of us, there’s no quick fix, so there’s ample opportunity for practice. This poem has to do with all of that, and I hope you enjoy it, whether you share my opinions or not. 🙂
The Raven and Me
sometimes there is a sky full of opinions
as far and wide as a mind’s eye can see…
let’s not talk about comprehend!
right wing left wing tail feathers!
raven bluebird mockingbird!
endless flapping of wings.
cawing chirping carrying on cacophony freedom song?
re-stating reciting every right and left winged opinion in bird lexicon.
the raven terrifying.
the bluebird with its poorly kept promise of happiness.
and let’s not even let that mockingbird get started,
as in love with his own voice as he is.
perched on a telephone wire
looking for prey
for a mate
to be the last bird standing!
Isn’t the stating of opinions always like this?
Well, that’s Your opinion! the raven asserted.
Whatever!! I shot back.
And this is how it is that sometimes there is a sky full of opinions as far and wide as a mind’s eye can see.
The endless variations of a kind of conversation like that between the raven and me.
by Gayle Markow 9/11