Divine Losers


Art of War by Akira Enzeru

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player”

Darlin’, doesn’t it seem we’re just divine losers

“That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. “

who will ultimately fail…at something,
but that doesn’t matter?
Then trying again, knowing we’ll fail: that matters.
God is in that, in us. We keep getting up.

The world, society,
will just move on right over us
in any case
and brush us aside.

It’s really the natural way of things, to come and go.
Everything has its time to be,
To bloom, to rut and to spread itself
And soak up the sun … for a while.
But it all becomes loam
on the forest floor eventually
Food for next year’s bloom.
And every special snowflake
Melts in the sun.

It took a while, a long while for me to see.
I used to think of goals,
But found they were but mileposts,
incentives to keep going.
To where, exactly, I didn’t really know….
little accomplishments that marked
the turning of pages of chapters
in a book that will
probably be forgotten.
No. It will be forgotten.

And now? Like The Dear Departed Harrison,
I have found that I like grit in myself, in others
taking a punch and moving anyway.
That’s what endures. Endurance.
I prefer to think on love and death,
dealing with real things, big things,
not simulated sex and violence on TV.

And more, I find I and drawn to sentiment,
because real people are sentimental
and they like to tell their stories, and hear others’.
That’s part of the sweep of things, too,
so why the hell not?

So Darlin’, I believe we divine losers, you and me…we know the score,
And we sure as hell don’t need hipster irony any more.

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4 Replies to “Divine Losers”

  1. Lovely poem – so poignant and you are right as life really does so often trample on our goals. But as you say having those goals keeps us moving forwards and goals can particularly help us in adversity. When I had clinical depression and wanted to kill myself almost every day I still had a desire to succeed at my career as a journalist at the BBC. My attachment to work helped me get through the depression probably because it distracted me. Then more recently when I had a nervous breakdown and started doing crazy OCD checking rituals 10 hours a day I would write down and update my goals for reduction of the OCD every couple of days. Even though those goals were modest – reducing checking the car from 1000 times to 980 times they still gave me a sense of achievement and hope.

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    1. Thank you. This was a kind of synthesis of Jim Harrison’s poetry, watching a docu about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and working on the darker sides of a character in a book I’m still trying to finish. I don’t know exactly when I finally woke up–it probably, looking back, was a series of starts and stops, and walking into walls and pretending I meant to–but I somehow stumbled into a sense that the trick was to care about what I was doing, but not to care so much that I lost my sense of humor. Humility is a greatly underrated virtue. And it seems only to come when one realizes even that should be viewed with humility. (Love your writing, by the way.)

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  2. So many things that will repeat themselves, habits, urges, and checked marks. To find a way to keep hitting repeat is more important methinks 🙂

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