Where the wind meets our faces
In the Windy City,
Orphaned newspaper flies among the towers
Flaps desperately imitating last goose,
Colored food trucks,
like a queue of immigrants
Lined up on Wells street.
We walk with loaded laptop shoulders,
Heavy with sales reports,
Forecast, revenue, and margin
(always the magic of margin)
weighing us down to the right
And on the left shoulder,
for counterbalance, we haul
a tome of Rumi, perhaps Mary Oliver’s
Blue Horses, galloping…
We sense when the balance shifts,
When it spins us in circles
Like cripples with one leg shorter
than the other…
Or a perfect balance –
A hum of perpetual motion machine.
So we sit down for coffee
Shed the bags, the books, and the residue,
Look into the eyes


Photo: wonderful Budabi brothers performing at Kline Creek Farm



About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone? https://beehappeenow.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Poetry, Random Thoughts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Overbalanced

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Great poem, Bee. Look into the eyes – Love it!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you very much, Mary.
      And I walked through the city for days
      Protesters asking Rahm Emanuel to resign
      Santa on a segway
      Police on bicycles
      Macy’s trying to keep up
      Marshal Fields window magic
      Schnitzel and potato pancakes
      at the Kriskindlemart
      And pigeons by the fire
      Carrying my Rumi and Oliver
      As antitode pill to spreadsheets, I giggled reading
      “Blue Horses” (Oliver’s) on the train
      And met a friend over coffee
      We hugged parting, she said:
      “Now I feel more positive”
      And that was my best Christmas present. 🙂

  2. shoreacres says:

    I always feel more positive when I come here — and that’s saying something, because I tend to be pretty positive, generally. Mary Oliver is the best, in several different ways. That’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact. She can balance the weight of a hundred ledgers, a thousand spreadsheets.

    Now, I’m thinking. Do I know what a spreadsheet is? Perhaps not. Don’t tell me — just write another poemm.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Linda, and please do not retire yet. When Mary Oliver and Rumi does not balance out the Excel pivot table weights for me, I may join you for training on the boats. 🙂
      I was trying yoga after an 8-yr break, and then read this one from Oliver’s latest collection (which is more humorous than her previous work):

      First Yoga Lesson

      “Be a lotus in the pond,” she said, “opening
      slowly, no single energy tugging
      against another but peacefully,
      all together.”

      I couldn’t even touch my toes.
      “Feel your quadriceps stretching?” she asked.
      Well, something was certainly stretching.

      Standing impressively upright, she
      raised one leg and placed it against
      the other, then lifted her arms and
      shook her hands like leaves. “Be a tree,” she said.

      I lay on the floor, exhausted.
      But to be a lotus in the pond
      opening slowly, and very slowly rising–
      that I could do.

      • shoreacres says:

        By the way: I know about the nail, the shoe, the horse, and all else that was lost in that nursery rhyme.. And I know more about some of those other losses than you might suspect.

  3. blazeburgess says:

    For some reason the way you ended this reminded me of a book I read some time ago (whose name I forgot).

    The main character was depressed and told his girlfriend, sitting next to him, “I don’t know what to do. Whether to step forward with the left or right foot.” She smiled and said “That’s easy,” stood up, and hoped forward with both feet.

    My thoughts aren’t usually so life-affirming. I’m going to attribute that to your influence.

    Beautiful poem. I feel the weight lift off me as I read it.

  4. smilecalm says:

    how wonderful
    to sit, lighten the load
    and bee
    with each other 🙂

  5. Bill says:

    This is beautiful. I struggled with that counterbalance for so long. I carried the law books, the briefs, the balance sheet. They defined me in the eyes of the world. But tucked into my briefcase, hidden like pornography in that world, I also had Wendell Berry, Faulkner, the Bible. Finally the balance shifted and spun me in that circle you describe. The image of trying to stay balanced while spinning, with one leg shorter than the other, is perfect. And even now I sometimes feel a little unsteady.

    Thanks for this Bee.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Bill. We all benefit from being out of balance sometimes, as long as it brings recongition of it, forgiveness, and learning. Just don’t try to juggle fire while balancing. 🙂

  6. barnraised says:

    Wonderful! Great pic to accompany it too.

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