Written as I langured in a hospital on the brink of distinction, dying for a laugh breath.
|I find, like Descartes, casting off|
assumptions all unfounded,
that I exist, though nothing else,
but I am not unbounded.
I’ve lived good lives, and suffer’d some.
I’ve felt the sun and raindrops.
I’ve loved and lost, and lost to love.
I’ve flown above the treetops.
For what I’ve tak’n, I’ve tried to give.
I’ve tried to give some extra.
I’ve known the bite of failure, true,
but known some small successes.
What shade of death passed near to me?
That shadow brought a light.
I’ve feared to die and feared to live,
but there’s no cause for fright.
Death ends no life, but brings a change.
What change have I not known?
I’ve had no friend or lover near,
Yet, when was I alone?
All love has dwelt within my heart.
All hope has fill’d my breast.
My eyes and ears have known such art!
With Life have I been blest.
What matters profit to the soul?
How can I know success?
A life well-lived’s my only goal,
at last I do confess.
And what is needed, well to live?
Oh, love is good to know,
And pain and comfort balanced out,
And friendship’s comfy glow.
My present goals might ne’er be reached,
but if I onward press,
I’ll always be toward vict’ry bound.
I’ll never need to guess.
Then, when it seems I’m all alone,
I’m here with all the best --
With love, and hope, and me, and fear --
Alone with all the best.
Shawn C. Bailey
September 23, 2013