Tuesday, November 23, 2010


All life is suffering...
the Buddhists say.

Now THERE'S a rosy forecast for ya.
Imagine your TV weatherman saying:
Partly cloudy tonight with a 10% chance of showers--
and the extended outlook:

All life is suffering...

And you say to yourself well surely that can't be--
and you try to think back to a time when you were truly happy,
lips fastened to your mother's breast,
until one day, quite by chance, you discover that dad
has been granted the same privileges.
And that is your first taste...
of betrayal.

Time passes...

And it's like a slap in the face the first time you realize
you're not the be all and end all of anybody's universe--
and that girl, that wonderful girl you think about every waking moment
of your day--wondering whether she's thinking of you--
while all the time she's ecstatic because she's planning
a two week trip to Mexico with some of her friends,
that she intends to tell you about the day before she leaves...
and you KNOW that someday she will give you an emotional kick
in the cojones--and you KNOW that it's coming,
and still you stand there with that stupid grin on your face.

All life is suffering...

And you find yourself a woman--a beautiful woman-
and she takes you to her bed and says:
Touch me here,
and ooh, touch me here,
and oh baby, touch me HERE!

And you are beaming in the afterglow
and you say, OH, please SHOW me who you are...
and she says: Don't touch me...THERE.

Time passes...

You trust no one, you believe in nothing,
and life becomes a nasty cycle of dump or be dumped--
and you begin to wonder just when it was that you became numb--
and still you have the unmitigated BALLS
to hope for a happy ending!

All life is suffering...

And soon you've forgotten why you get up in the morning--
you do it by rote, as if you'd be letting the world down if you weren't one
of the masses of asses sitting at the stoplight
trying to find something worthwhile on the radio--
a favorite song---anything to medicate the pain...

Medicate, masturbate, hibernate...

And you get up in the morning and go into work day after day
like a good dog, where the boss treats you like another piece of the furniture
and he almost sits on you and crushes you with his fat ass.

All life is suffering...

And you're convinced that the best thing to be in life
is a masochist--but that doesn't work either because
masochists must surely suffer when they're not in pain.

And if all life is suffering then the question is:
How then must we live?
How then must we live?

And until we find the answer,
this thing that we do--
this spilling of one's guts onto the page,
this POETRY,
becomes your only salvation...
and mine.

For I can take the pain--
work it, shape it, and transform it into a gift
that you will willingly accept
because you know that it's been there all along
like the refrain from a song
that you've heard a thousand times before
but somehow
it's different now...
and all I need to do is say the words.


  1. Oh my freaking God. Say The Words indeed. You have made my day, my feeling-tired, discouraged, when-does-it-get-easy, answer-never, argh, what-the-hell day! This is poetry, my friend, that reaches the place inside the reader that recognizes its home truths, well-said. And somehow, grim as the prognosis might be, it makes us feel better - because you wrote it. And we read it. And that is one really wonderful gift. Fabulous poem.

  2. Amen Tim!! well said, very humourous in parts but the humour covers the pain, i have discovered writing is much cheaper than therapy!! much love to you. hope you have wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  3. Brilliant!!!

    I love your take on this - but we both know that life isn't suffering at all - because we can always change it to be the way we want it to be... it is all a matter of perspective ;)

  4. deeply touched Tim..and i do agree with Gabriela here,it is all about perspective :)always happy to read you Tim..:)

  5. Love this! You really do have a great way with words. I'm so glad you pour your words out onto the page.

  6. Writing-such great (and cheap) therapy. I really enjoyed reading this...the mixture of funny and pain.

  7. Yeah! Poetry our savior of our sanity or insanity. I was wondering where you were going. What an awesome ending. :)

  8. You have summed up life in one piece of brillant writing...and when you think you have it all figured fall flat on your ass...get up and write again...yes, that is the meaning of it all..thank you I needed to read this today....Have a Blessed...Thanksgiving..(suffer through it)....bkm

  9. I just wanna give you a hug. Or maybe some ice cream. With hot fudge on the top. And a cherry.

  10. Yes, i remember reading it before...Once we learn to accept "all life is suffering" it becomes a joy by itself!....and i quite know well that you know it too, Tim...else you won't be singing the refrain :)


  11. agree with Poetry is the salvation -- sometimes its painting, sometimes cooking, gardening -- and then life could be fun they say, variety is the spice of life :)

    oh! let me stop -- i talk as if you don't know :)


  12. My thoughts run akin to Arlene's there Tim. Life is lessons, but the suffering is only one's perspective. We suffer if we don't stop to look around and see. I will take that ice cream now.

  13. SHERRY,
    I doubt that a better compliment than "Oh my freaking God," exists! Much love to you!

    Love ya...hope your Thanksgiving is the best!

    Variety is the spice...but what's the sugar?

    I'll take all of that, and whatever else you got!

    GABRIELA, DESERT ROSE, TERESA, BKM, KKRIGE: Hello my nice of you to drop sweet you are to me!

  14. Wow. This is amazing. It resonates with hopelessness and despair. I'm with Arlene too. I send you hugs, and chocolate. Chocolate always makes things better.

    I don't want anyone to misconstrue that this is, or has ever been my life, though certain aspects of the poem were inspired by "actual events." LOL
    But thanks for the hugs and chocolate!

  16. ofcourse, sugar-cane! :)

    or apple/apricot/berry/cherry/ -- a trouble is that some are horribly sour!


  17. absolutely amazing...what else can a say...this was a masterpiece..a heck of a lot happening but it didnt jumble..and when i finished i read it again...i hadnt missed was writen that well

    Thanks for taking part in One Shot...all the best


  18. This was exactly what I needed at 4 effing a.m. and I loved it! Bravo! xxxjenne'

  19. whoa, I barely have words for're such a mood writer, it's amazing, but this I know we are not here to be happy, but if you can good for you, we are here to learn, you can learn happily or learn miserably....but learn you will, and Love love is everywhere

  20. Outstanding on many levels—especially in consideration of philosophical, psychological, and artist grounds for creating amid the acceptance of suffering.

  21. Agreed the words are the place to find some wholeness

    love the line masochists must suffer when they're not in pain

    ah this poem makes me want to dig a whole hole

    Tim - a wowza for One shot
    ever thought of being a philosopher - well you are your'e a poet!!!

    moon Smiles

  22. DEVIKA, PETE, JEN, LORRAINE, DUSTUS, MOONDUST, STEVE: Thanks a trillion...yes, I am of a philosophical bent...though some would say warped!

    Thanks, sugar. Have some berry happy're the apple of my eye...wishing you happiness with a cherry on top...we cain do it if we try...don't let your apricot rot...;)

    I feel you've hit it right on the head...but ooh that hurts!

  23. __I wonder, would a lack of "poetic instinct," cause life to have less suffering? I, always the "Contrary" look to the other side of suffering's fence; joy.

    I wrote this when I as 17... 50 years ago.

    The world is in my hands,
    Mine are scared and stained
    By the gashes and blood of past mistakes,
    The future will cure them, and cleanse them,
    To preserve the evil that lies within me...
    For without evil there can be no good,
    And good is the essence of life.


  24. "masochists must surely suffer when they're not in pain": a great turn of phrase, that one!

    I'm glad you cleared things up in your response to Pattiken. Your words worked effectively, obviously.

  25. :-)
    Happy Thanksgiving, Tim and to all! :)


  26. DOUG,
    That kind of insight, at that age...rare :) Have a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!

    To put it into context, the Buddhist take on it is that, even though we have our joys and our sorrows, our ups and our downs, ultimately we suffer because we lose everything we cling to (including ourselves) in this life. The solution? No (static) cling!

  27. Dear Timoteo

    I enjoyed reading this one very much..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay