On this page, I’ll post all the happiness poems people submit. I’ll post them in alphabetical order by poet’s last name. Thanks in advance for your thoughtfulness and willingness to play along!
Anonymous, Montpelier, Vermont
It is easy to
forget how the mountains rise and
sing against the sky
Jeannette Cabinis-Brewin, Tuckasegee, North Carolina
i. A river
of air flows
above the river. As sky
lives on the surface of water
another life, so the life of water
reflects in frozen air, streaming.
When the river ducks her head
beneath the bridge, her airy sister
leaps lightly over, invisible except
that she bears the snow, strewing
across my path.
ii. wild carrots tatting
a winter crop of lace for their Queen
each brittle brown chalice fills with it
and with a peace
undisturbed by the commerce of bees.
iii. on each blackiced twig
snow piles to a certain depth
then wisely falls,
letting go of what can-
not in safety be borne,
feeling the relief of
iv. see us fading back to no-color,
to sepiatone, to black
and white images,
a wonderful life.
we do less
and what we do—chop wood, light
fire, heat water—is briefly
Published in Appalachian Heritage, Winter 2004
One day while zooming air-cooled
from walmart to subdivision
with plasticized fish from the Arctic,
Juan, I saw you walking
the shoulder not a sidewalk
waste land not for walkers
uphill in august heat
looking hot and satisfied
with a big trout on a string
shining like church candlelight,
food for the family at the trailerpark
two miles out from town.
You carried back into my heart
the river, slipping under the highway
half seen half screened
by concrete and treetops. Seeing you
from Tuckaseigee to housetrailer
with a fish on a string
our parallel worlds collided
and yours made sense.
The sense it makes is not
the sense of place that should
be mine. It’s yours: You
in this strange green country,
without a car
without a green card
without a fishing license
and so in possession
of a summer day
a cool living river
a long walk uphill
waiting hungry children
a shining fish
a satisfied heart.
Published in The Atlanta Review, Fall 2005
Ken Crawbuck, Friday Harbor, Washington
Hearing laughter and
light happy conversation
Joyous free movements
Breaking the morning stillness
in the town center
The smells of croissants,
in the local brewery and
as I pass through the well tended landscape
On a sunny day.
Healthy tax paying citizens
As a priority.
The value of achieving:
fewer major illnesses
and hospital and emergency room visits
less obesity, malnutrition,
more sustainable wage jobs,
and a healthier environment.
We can develop a sense of harmony and well-being;
Voting for Gross National Happiness is not magic.
gulpfuls of cool
Feeling it flowing
The sense of
Keith Curtis, Herndon, Virginia
Under The Cherry
Watching the petals fall
In the gusting and calming breezes
I try to catch them,
Standing from my reading and grasping at the air
But the effort itself creates its own defeat
Since the hand builds a windstream.
Resigned once, I sit and watch while reading
The stronger winds enticing me again swirl about me,
Whipping in curls and circles a blossom storm:
“Being so in the clustering thick of things,
Rapt and enwrapped in the rising and falling real world”
Upon these words the petals fall.
Only when again I give up the chase, the wind dies to a drift
And I concentrate instead on the world of thought,
Teasing me back to the substance around me,
I see the bees flit about the blossoms.
I make the petals bookmarks
Which in short order turn a deeper pink,
Being even more beautiful in their fading lifelessness.
“Beauty comes easiest to the one who waits”,
The robin proclaims
Sitting now atop the cheery
Exclaiming the white and pink
With song in red,
Splitting in its separate parts,
So as the wind shifts into my face
The pedals beat upon my breast
And fall into my lap,
Punctuating Annie’s words;
“I cannot ask for more than to be so wholly acted upon,
Flown at, and lighted on in throngs”
Until one solitary pedal,
Wanting to be a fellow traveler,
As if appreciating my companionship,
Lights against my shoulder
And slides into my pocket.
That there’s laughter around the dinner table almost nightly, (even though not so much at the breakfast table).
Happiness is being able to improvise with all the ingredients one has at hand,
knowing that magic happens when the mind is challenged to be creative.
Ginny Sassaman, Maple Corner, Vermont
Pink # 1
Pink is not grown up.
Seriously? A color? Who says?
Pink makes me happy.
Pink # 2
Fuzzy pink pom poms.
No particular purpose,
Save ticklish pleasure.
Piles of thick blankets
Frigid winter’s breath.
had suddenly died.
All I could give.
The gift I received.