Two poems for a birthday

Two of my favorite poems by two of my favorite poets - Robert Bly and Scott Cairns - and a blast from the past by the Boss, too!

Bad People - Robert Bly
A man told me once that all the bad people
Were needed. Maybe not all, but your fingernails
You need; they are really claws, and we know Claws. The sharks - what about them? They make other fish swim faster. The hard-faced men In black coats who chase you for hours In dreams - that's the only way to get you to the shore. Sometimes those hard women
Who abandon you get you to say: "You."
A lazy part of us is like a tumbleweed.
It doesn't move on its own. Sometimes it takes
A lot of Depression to get tumbleweeds moving.
Then they blow across three or four States.
This man told me that things work together.
Bad handwriting sometimes leads to new ideas;
And a careless god - who refuses to let people
Eat from the Tree of Knowledge - can lead
To books, and eventually to us. We write
Poems with lies in them, but they help a little.

Imperative - Scott Cairns
The thing to remember is how
tentative all of this really is.
You could wake up dead.
Or the woman you love
could decide you're ugly.

Maybe she will finally give up
trying to ignore the way
you floss your teeth as you
watch television. All I'm saying
is that there are no sure things here.

I mean, you'll probably wake up alive,
and she'll probably keep putting off
any actual decision about your looks.
Could be she'll be glad your teeth
are so clean. The morning might be
full of all the love and kindness
you need. Just don't go thinking
you deserve any of it.

I remember seeing this concert - Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love" tour in 1988 - it was so hot and soulful. And when Bruce and his not yet official girlfriend, Patti, opened the second set with "Tougher Than the Rest" it brought the house down with its bold sensuality.

I have learned so much from these three guys and now I can mostly say that all of the blessings and love and kindness is all grace cuz "I don't deserve ANY of it."


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